Clean out the Fridge Vegetable Soup

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on March 20, 2012

This is my favorite soup.  It’s not really a big deal.  In fact it’s pretty simple, and every time I make it, it’s different.  I’ve even posted about it before using lentils and with pasta mixed in with very slightly different seasonings.

This soup is incredibly adaptable.  I usually always have carrots and celery in my fridge because they’re two vegetables that my kids will snack on raw, and they last longer than a week, so I always have them in the fridge as backup for if I didn’t buy enough other veggies.  But you can adapt this to whatever you have.  More carrots, less celery or even add in some other vegetables like peppers.  Or substitute the greens for a different kind, or something else completely.  As long as the base flavors in the onion, garlic, tomatoes and seasonings are the same, this soup will be delicious, I promise 🙂

Even the beans can be swapped out for quite a few different things.  I’ve used just about every kind of bean in this soup and it always tastes good.  Lentils work just as well, and I love how they taste.  Plus, even if you don’t have any cooked on hand they can easily be cooked with the soup until tender because they don’t need to cook as long as beans.

Like I did the last time I posted a very similar soup, you can add pasta.  You can even add fun shaped pasta to make it more fun for the kids – if you can find some – but usually we just stick to whole grain macaroni or broken up pieces of spaghetti if we go that route.  You could also add any leftover cooked grains to your bowl like brown rice or even cooked wheat berries, to make it a little more filling.  Although usually I just prefer to leave the grains out and serve this alongside a thick slice of whole wheat bread with butter.

[print_this]Clean out the Fridge Vegetable Soup

Serves 4+

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 C diced carrots
  • 1 C diced celery
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 1 32 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp marjoram
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • a pinch of sugar or tiny drizzle of honey
  • 1 can chickpeas(about 2 1/4 C), drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 large handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
  • A large handful fresh parsley, or about 1/4-1/3C dried

In a medium sized dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes until softened.  Add the carrots and celery and continue to saute while stirring for 4-5 more minutes.  Add the garlic and saute only for a minute or two before adding the tomatoes.  Add the thyme, marjoram, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the pot and bring up to a boil.  Also add the sugar or honey at this point, just to counter the acidity of the canned tomatoes.  Alternatively you can use about 4 C fresh tomatoes and omit the sugar/honey.  Turn down to a simmer and cook just until the vegetables are tender.  I prefer to keep mine fairly firm, but cook until they are as soft as you like.

Once the vegetables are tender, add the chickpeas, spinach and parsley.  Bring back up to temperature and cook just until the spinach leaves are wilted.  Taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as needed.  Remove the bay leaf and serve while hot, over cooked grains, pasta or beside whole grain bread.[/print_this]

Leave a Comment

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gosia April 10, 2012 at 21:25

I know this soup really well! Actually, we’re the best friends. Hugs. Gosia


2 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 29, 2012 at 02:57

I love a nice hearty vegetable soup like this, such a nice way to get all your veggies!


3 Joanne March 22, 2012 at 06:33

I’m pretty sure my fridge is LONG overdue for a soup-full cleanout! This sounds so delicious.


4 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 22, 2012 at 03:45

I love “cleaning out the fridge” recipes. They’re so adaptable and you can make some really good uses to some veggies that are on the verge of being completely fugly and unusable.

Thanks for saving me some money and inspiring me to make a healthy soup! 🙂


5 March 21, 2012 at 22:29

Believe it or not, I actually made a similar soup the other day! Great to clean out the fridge and nutritious too!


6 Marsha @ The Harried Cook March 21, 2012 at 21:20

I am total soup person, and this is the kind of recipe that I would LOVE!! Perfect! Now if only my leftovers looked as clean and fresh as yours! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this 🙂


7 Kathryn March 21, 2012 at 14:19

I love this kind of recipe and how it uses up all that stuff that you just have lying around. They make the best kind of meals, so delicious!


8 The Café Sucré Farine March 21, 2012 at 14:00

Heidi, this looks wonderful – just what I’d like for lunch, any leftovers? I’m not sure I would find such great items in my refridg – sometimes when I clean it out I find green things, not good green, as in “fresh” – you know, the other kind 🙂


9 Cindy @ Once Upon a Loaf March 21, 2012 at 05:45

Heidi, this looks delish! I love veggie soup and need to clean my fridge. Evernoted to make over the weekend. Thanks!


10 Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef March 21, 2012 at 02:29

I made a clean the fridge salad last month and was really proud of myself for not wasting food. I think it’s time to do it again and your soup would make me even more proud. It looks wonderful !


11 chinmayie @ love food eat March 21, 2012 at 02:03

I make a soup like this often and what i like the most about is that it tastes different everytime 🙂


12 ATasteOfMadness March 21, 2012 at 00:32

This looks so yummy! I haven’t had vegetable soup in so long (which is weird, it is one of my favorite type of soup) but this will soon change!


13 Nora @ natural noshing March 20, 2012 at 19:57

I’m loving this veggie packed soup! The add in of chickpeas is calling my name too — I love their creamy texture packed into that little bean! I made a soup last night and was going to heat leftovers for dinner but now I’m thinking this soup is calling my name! 🙂


14 sally March 20, 2012 at 18:46

Its probably about time for me to clean out all of the veggies in my fridge too. This soup looks like a great way to use them all up!


15 Stephanie March 20, 2012 at 17:12

omg.. I think I might have to see if I have time to make this for dinner tonight. I wish I wasn’t out of whole wheat bread though because I love whole wheat bread with butter and some good soup


16 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 20, 2012 at 15:26

This is a great “clean out the fridge” type of meal, definitely stuff I have on hand all the time. Giving this one a try since I loved your shrimp and tomato soup so much 🙂


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