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One of my weekly routines takes place on Sundays in the afternoon or evening. I choose a recipe that I think will be great for leftovers, and I prepare it and store individual portions in my fridge. I’ve been doing this for years so that I can have healthy and delicious lunches, and not have to worry about preparing meals during a busy work week.
Today I went through all my previous recipe posts and created a category called ‘Makes Great Leftovers’ so you that you can easily find recipes that you can use for leftovers. There are a lot of soups, stews, salads and other one-dish meals. Quite a few are vegetarian or vegan, but there are also a lot of recipes with meat.
This the duck that keeps on giving. It began as a roast duck, then was turned into this broth which was used to make a delicious mushroom and duck risotto, as well as a tomato soup. You could substitute chicken to make this if you don’t happen to have duck.
This recipe is as simple as putting everything in a pot to simmer for a number of hours, then giving it time to cool before refrigerating it.
Put everything in a stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring it to a slow simmer and skim of any foam.
Keep on a low simmer – just barely bubbling – for 3 to 4 hours, or more if you have the time.
Strain off the liquid from the bones and vegetables and discard the solids. I use a fine sieve to do this, and line it with some cheesecloth if I want to keep all the fine bits out.
Allow to cool to room temperature. I put the broth into canning jars and place them in a sink of cold water, changing the water when it gets warm. If it is cold enough outside I just put it out for the night.
You can use it up or keep it for a few months in the freezer.
Roasting the squash with apples and just one slice of bacon brings so much flavour to this soup. Mark Bittman wrote this recipe as a chowder, in which you leave everything whole, but I was really in the mood for a puréed soup. And it was lovely and velvety this way. I plan to try it again one day using different vegetables.
The cookbook this one came from is called The Food Matters Cookbook. I changed the recipe by using only one slice of bacon for flavour instead of four, omitting the oil because the bacon gave it some fat, and then I puréed it instead of leaving pieces whole.
To make this a vegan recipe you can easily omit the bacon and just drizzle the vegetables with a little olive oil before roasting.
It makes about 4 servings.
What you need:
1 butternut squash, about 1 & 1/2 pounds
1 large onion, chopped
2 large apples, peeled and cored
1 slice bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Peel it with a vegetable peeler and cut it into cubes. Place the cubes on a deep roasting pan along with the onion, apples and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put the bacon pieces over top of the vegetables. Roast, stirring a few times throughout the process, for about 45 minutes. At this time the apples should be tender and the bacon should be crisp.
Take the roasting pan out of the oven and stir in the sage and wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer everything to a large pot, unless your roasting pan can be put on the stove top. If so, continue the next step in the roasting pan over medium heat.
Add the stock and cook until the squash begins to break up a little, about 25 minutes.
Let the soup cool slightly before putting it into a blender in batches. Purée until it is very smooth, then return to the pot to reheat. Taste and adjust seasonings before servings.
This one is really good for leftovers too, but you might need to thin it out by adding a little stock, wine or water when reheating.
My good friend John made this soup for me a while back. We both wanted to eat something pretty healthy and warming, and something that wouldn’t take too long to cook. Don’t be afraid of the word ‘spicy;’ it has a only hint of chill, but loads of flavour.
John’s recipe is vegan, using vegetable broth, but I used chicken broth and added some chicken pieces that I had left over. Both versions are super tasty. I also used less olive oil; the original recipe says 3 tablespoons and I used about one.
The recipe is from the Food Network.
What you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground if that’s what you have)
1/2 cup green lentils
1/2 cup red lentils
1 small dried chili, crushed
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
leftover chicken, shredded or diced (optional)
freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
What you do:
Drizzle the oil in a large pot and sauté the onion on medium heat until golden.
Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the garlic is golden.
Add the stock, lentils, chili, carrots, celery, bay leaves and optional chicken to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste.
This delicious and hearty soup comes from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, and it is definitely a keeper. I like that it has a lot of vegetables in it, but it gets a boost of flavour from the pancetta (use bacon as a substitute if you don’t have pancetta) and the Parmesan rind. I throw the rinds into the freezer when I have them so I can put them in soups and sauces. If you don’t have one, just add a little extra Parmesan in at the end.
What you need:
3 oz pancetta, cut into small pieces
2 celery ribs
1 large onion
1 small zucchini
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small head green cabbage (I used Napa)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 small hot pepper
Chop the celery, carrot, onions and zucchini into 2cm pieces.
Heat a little olive oil in a very large pot oven medium heat, then add the pancetta. Cook until it is lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring often, for 5-9 minutes.
Add the garlic, cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper flakes and cook for a minute or two, or until the cabbage begins to wilt. Place the vegetables on a baking tray and set aside.
Add the beans, water, broth, Parmesan rind and bay leaf to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes.
Add the vegetables and V8 juice to the pot and cook about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
Discard the bay leaf and Parmesan rind. Stir in the basil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Because of my ongoing quest for soup recipes, and because of my newly acquired blender I have been searching for more puréed soup recipes. The ingredients are really simple, so in my opinion the success of this recipe depends largely on using a quality broth. I used my homemade chicken stock, but you could use a flavourful vegetable one to make it a vegan recipe. I make up a big batch of stock, then freeze it in portions to use in future soup recipes. A bit of work to do ahead of time, but it’s really handy and makes better soups.
I found this recipe on freshtart.com, and I made two changes: I cut the amount of oil in half (1 tablespoon per portion is too much for me), and I didn’t serve it with the fried shrimp on top, although this sounds yummy.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the leek to it and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes.
Add the chicken broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf.
Place the spinach and chives in the blender, then add the cauliflower and broth and purée until smooth. If the liquid is hot it will make a bit of an explosion, se be careful. You could purée on very low to start, then allow some steam to escape, and then continue until it is smooth.
Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Drizzle with a little olive oil to serve, and add some minced chives for garnish if you like.
This is a flavourful, somewhat spicy, and quite healthy soup – a perfect storm for me.
I created this soup to use up some chicken stock and red peppers that I had in my fridge, as well as some fresh corn that a friend brought over. I’ve never made such a big batch of chicken stock, and ran out of room in my tiny freezer – this was a great way to use it up. It’s got roasted bell and poblano peppers, as well as a dried ancho chile pureed into the tomatoes – I think the anchos are what takes this recipe to the next level, and I will definitely use this strategy of adding flavour into recipes in the future.
This would be great topped with avocado, or cilantro, or some Mexican crumbling cheese. And a wedge of lime to squeeze in.
Just a word about the roasted peppers: I know that some people like to get rid of every trace of the skin by washing the peppers, but I like to keep little bits of the skin on. This way it reminds me of the amazing sauces I ate in Mexico. You always knew they were homemade and delicious if they had those flecks of black skin in them.
What you need:
1 dried ancho chile
1 – 398mL/14 oz fire roasted tomatoes
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
1/2 a large sweet onion, diced
1 chicken breast or 2 thighs (omit for vegetarians!)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 – 425 grams / 15 oz can of pinto beans, drained
2 ears of fresh corn (substitute with peaches and cream canned corn – I don’t personally like frozen)
Roast the peppers over a gas stove or barbecue, turning frequently with tongs until all the skin is charred and black. Place in a container fitted with a lid until it cools a bit, 10-15 minutes.
Roast the dry ancho chile very briefly over the flame, then remove the stem and seeds. Add this to a blender along with the can of tomatoes. Puree until smooth.
In a large pot over a medium flame drizzle in a little olive oil (I use less than 1 tablespoon). Add the onions and cook, stirring from time to time, for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes, but don’t let the garlic brown.
Add the chicken, if you are using it, and let that cook for a few minutes before pouring in the broth and tomato/ancho mixture. Let this simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken and chop it up, then add it back to the soup.
Meanwhile, remove the blackened skin from the peppers, then remove the stem and seeds. Chop the peppers, then add them to the soup.
Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the soup. Cut the corn off the cobs and add that to the soup. Let this simmer for a few minutes, then season with salt and a little pepper to taste.
This soup is awesome! I was a little hesitant at first, as I’m not a big fan of green bell peppers, but since I have loved red gazpacho so much I thought I should at least give this a try. After all, Yotam Ottolenghi wrote in his lovely cookbook Plenty that this is by far his favourite cold soup, so it must be good. It is now one of my top favourites too. It has so much flavour, and it’s got lots of healthy ingredients. I made one big change, though – the recipe serving six people called for one whole cup! of olive oil! I cut that down to 1/4 cup. Still takes great, and I feel better knowing I’m not eating almost 3 tablespoons of oil per serving.
While there is no cooking, there’s a bit of chopping, and then blending, so it’s not as quick as I thought it would be. But it is totally worth a little extra chopping.
What you need:
2 celery stalks (including leaves)
2 small green bell peppers
6 mini cucumbers (1 & 1/4 lbs), peeled
3 slices stale white bread with crusts removed
1 fresh green chile (I used a jalapeno)
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 & 1/2 cups walnuts
6 cups baby spinach
1 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt (I just used my plain yogurt)
about 2 cups cold water
9 oz ice cubes
2 teaspoons salt
white pepper (I just used black)
What you do:
Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan or in the oven. Let them cool.
Roughly chop the celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, bread, chile and garlic and place it in a blender. If you are using an immersion blender, as I did, just put the ingredients into a large bowl. If you have the option to use a blender I recommend that, as it would be a bit easier to get the right consistency for all the vegetables. Add the sugar, walnuts, spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, oil, yogurt, most of the water, half of the ice cubes, salt, and some pepper. Puree until smooth. Add more water if you need, in order to get the right consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
Add the remaining ice and blend for just a second or two to break it up a little.
Serve with homemade croutons or a few walnuts sprinkled on top.
This makes 6 very generous portions. I cut the recipe in half, which would be a great option for a starter-sized portion.
Last weekend I was planning to have friends over for dinner, and I wanted to make a pot of soup and a loaf of bread, so I made up my own version of a Mexican soup. It’s got some chicken, beans, and lots of vegetables including a few kinds of peppers. I served it with Mexican farm cheese, some cilantro, and a squirt of lime on top. Hot sauce optional. I also made a vegetarian version. This was a great recipe to make for a bunch of people, and it was enjoyed by both adults and children.
I roasted the peppers and tomatillos on my gas stove but you could do this on the barbecue, or under the broiler.
Roast the poblano and bell peppers over a flame, turning often, until the skin is blackened all over. Put the peppers into a container with a lid on it, and let them sit for about 20 minutes. Continue with the other preparations, then go back to the peppers and remove their skin and seeds. It’s okay if there are pieces of blackened skin remaining; those flecks will add character to the soup.
Remove the husks from the tomatillos and roast them until they are lightly blackened and only a little softened. Set them aside.
In a large pot heat a little olive oil and add the diced onions. Cook for a few minutes, until they are becoming translucent, then add the garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring a bit.
Add the chicken thighs and cook for a few minutes on each side.
Add the chicken stock, minced serrano, and the whole guajillo pepper.
Let this cook for about 20 minutes, then add the drained pinto beans. Chop the roasted peppers and tomatillos and add them to the pot. Let this cook for about 20-30 minutes.
Take the chicken out and cut it into large chunks, then pull it with a fork so you’ve got stringy bits of chicken instead of cubes.
Add the corn before serving and heat through, along with the juice of two limes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with some chopped cilantro on top, a sprinkling of the farm cheese. Set out some hot sauce so people can add as much heat as they like.