It’s here my friends (at least my friends in Canada and most of the US and Europe). It’s winter and it’s cold and it’s dark. Long gone are the days of farm fresh vegetables and we have welcomed a new era where all anyone wants to talk about is the cost of a head of cauliflower. To make the most of my ingredients and cut down on food waste, I’m making kitchen scraps vegetable bean soup.
Food prices are expected to rise about 4-6% this year in Canada. Cauliflower is extra special, though so it’s price has risen over a 100%. That means double. It’s twice what it normally costs.
I can hear the Paleo tribes weeping in despair! “But my cauliflower rice!”, “But my cauliflower pizza crust”, “But my cauliflower mashed potatoes”…
Hang tight, you will be okay! And come spring, maybe it means planting a garden.
Here’s what no one is really talking about:
- If Monsanto keeps killing the bees we’ll have a whole lot more to worry about than just the price of cauliflower.
- Too much of both what is grown in North America and what we buy at the grocery store is ending up in landfills.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane and peruse a little excerpt from Chapter 8 of the 2013 smash hit UnDiet.
The most food is wasted in the US – and this has global environment impact. According to a report by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the US generates more than thirty-four million tons of food waste each year. Holy shmizer! In Canada, it is estimated that $27 billion dollars worth of food ends up in landfills each year [Since writing UnDiet, the cost has been updated to 30 million]. According to World Vision Canada, every month, just the residents in the city of Toronto alone, toss out 17.5 million kilograms of food.
Food waste is more than fourteen percent of the total municipal solid waste. Even more shameful is that less than three percent of the thirty-four million tons of food waste created in 2009 was recovered and recycled. That means that thirty-three million tons were trucked off to the place we call ‘away’. Food waste now represents the single largest component of municipal landfills and incinerators in the US.
And this my friends, though can’t be remedied 100%, can be helped by this very humble, one pot meal that I have for you.
Together, that collection of vegetables looks like a great assortment. A prized collection of plantiful perfection. But when you separate those items out, they appear rather random; a lone sweet potato, a worse for wear white potato, four leaves of kale, a hodge-podge of onions. But together? Together we have something special (like you and me!). A kitchen scraps vegetable bean soup!
Meal planning, and meal prep especially, is one of the most effective ways to reduce both grocery bills and food waste costs. You know I am a champion of meal prepping in every sense of it. It reduces your time in the kitchen and dramatically reduces what you throw away at the end of each week.
As for the beans, I always have a few cans of beans kicking around. They are quick and easy to use and I always opt for the Eden brand, which are BPA-free.
And so I took these kitchen scraps, vegetables that likely would have rotted in my fridge because they weren’t enough to stand on their own as a dish and made them into a super delicious, quick, easy and satiating full-meal-deal soup.
Something a little extra I always add to my soups is seaweed.
This dried kombu adds a healthy dose of minerals to the soup. Once it softens up with cooking, you don’t even know it’s there so you can leave it in or remove it. I say, the more the merrier and I let it stay for the party.
After about ten minutes of slicing and dicing, I let the soup simmer for an hour (you could do less, but as I used uncooked split peas, they needed the cooking time) and you are ready to go.
If time (or patience) is limited, you can also put all of these ingredients in your slow cooker and just set it and forget it. It will be ready when you wake up in the morning (yes, this makes a rockstar hearty breakfast) or set it in the morning and you’ll come home to a perfect slow-cooked, fast-food meal.
The Major Benefits Of This kitchen scraps vegetable bean Soup
- One pot meal magic
- Mix and match based on the vegetables you have
- Mix and match based on the beans/lentils you have
- Freezer friendly
- Portable in a mason jar or heated at home and put in a thermos
- Perfect use of kitchen scraps
- Reduce the food you toss
- Plantiful and fibertastis
Kitchen Scraps Vegetable Bean Soup
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
A simple gluten-free and vegan soup that incorporates
- 4 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 red onion, (or 1 white onion or 3 shallots), coarsely chopped
- 1 sweet potato, coarsely chopped
- 1 white potato, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups cooked adzuki beans
- 2 cups cooked butterbeans
- 1/2 cup split peas, soaked
- 1 strip of kombu seaweed (optional)
- 6 cups of water or homemade stock or broth
- 4 leaves of kale, stems removed and chopped
- sea salt and cayenne to taste
- Place carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, beans, peas, kombu and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for one hour.
- Add kale once cooking is complete and mix in.
- Add salt and cayenne to desired taste.
- Serve hot.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Soup
10 responses to “Kitchen Scraps Vegetable Bean Soup”
I so appreciate you and your recipes, Meghan. Just to let you know that in some parts of Canada (I live on Salt Spring Island), we are able to eat out of the garden all year round – carrots, beets, kale, chard, collards, mache, winter lettuce, arugula, and lots of herbs are still abundant, and the cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, and overwintering cabbage, as well as a batch of green peas are about to fruit. There are cherry tomato plants, lemons and even a pepper plant in the unheated greenhouse! Your soup is a great one to make from fresh winter garden odds and ends too, as I tend to not over-harvest any one plant at this time of year.
That’s it. Make room for me on the island, please!
The name of this soup “Kitchen Scraps Vegetable Bean Soup” signifies it should be made from scraps or left over vegetables. That means it would be different for every body making it, depending on what they had in their frig. Therefore my question is why is there an ingredient list?
Because if I didn’t give a recipe for mine, everyone would ask for one :)
Exactly, Meghan! I love having a recipe, knowing I can sub in with what I have. My 15 year old daughter has made this twice this week! It’s delicious. We’ve even taken some to our neighbors! Big hit. Thanks so much!
You had me at “soup” – this looks and sounds delicious! I love the addition of seaweed too, we live in the goiter belt so this is a great tip!
Just found your site. I’m lying in bed on a Sunday morning reading this, I’ve been shamed into using up the wilting veggies in the vegetable tray and sprouting onions and sweet potato to make the pot of soup I’ve been planning to for the past 2 weeks. Tomorrow’s garbage will be less. I will make an effort to buy only what I can reasonably use in a week or so rather than go crazy because veggies look so fresh and healthy. My fridge will no longer be a food graveyard. Thank you for opening my eyes.
Did make a large pot of this delicious soup but threw in a little pancetta and cheese rind. Also had enough vegetables to make your roasted veggies with balsamic vinegar as well as another tray of roasted veggies with my mix of herbs and spices. Will be eating healthily this week at home and at work so will be spending less money eating out. Oh, have also made your turmeric tea twice with fresh turmeric for breakfast. I’m loving your site. Thank you.
really luv everything you do, meghan! I make a similar soup. my question is: “how can you tell if your seaweed is “clean”? I have some concern about where it is harvested, as far as toxins etc. go.
Your best bet is to look into the company you are buying it from and see what their growing and testing practices are. Thank you for your kind words!