Recipes, Student Life

When in doubt, eat out (of your fridge): Veggie leftovers soup

We all know the crushing feeling of opening the fridge and finding nothing to eat—with the exception, of course, of your leftover scraps, some languishing vegetables, and a bunch of mystery containers. Instead of giving in and going out, here’s how to save money, clean out your fridge, and minimize food waste by turning those random ingredients into a warm bowl of soup. This recipe is designed to be flexible, so you can use whatever ingredients you have lying around.

Part 1: The Broth

This is where you can get rid of any scraps left over from the last time you cooked, or any vegetables that aren’t looking so fresh––don’t worry, a bit of withering or staleness will not affect the broth’s flavour much. If you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen and just want to whip up a quick meal, skip to Part 2 to go straight to making soup with store-bought broth. 


  • Water

Possible additions:

  • Chicken—legs, wings, necks or back bones; with or without meat (If you are using chicken bones, split them open to maximise flavour)
  • Celery, including leaves
  • Carrots, including peel
  • Onions 
  • Mushrooms
  • Potato, including peel
  • Herbs (parsley, cilantro, etc.), including stems
  • Good seasoning options: garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, pepper


  1. Cut all of your desired ingredients into medium-sized pieces.
  2. Put all of your ingredients into a big pot.
  3. Fill the pot with water until the vegetables start to float (it should be about ¾ full).
  4. Bring this to a boil and then let it simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes. The longer you simmer, the more flavour the broth will have, so keep the broth on the heat for around 60 minutes for maximum umami.
  5. Strain the broth into a container. This broth will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.

Tip: Start collecting your vegetable scraps instead of throwing them out. Keep a bag of kitchen scraps in your freezer and once the bag is full, make it into broth!

Part 2: The Soup

Your pre-made broth will be the base of your soup, bringing together any remaining leftover vegetables and miscellaneous ingredients. If you’re in a rush to eat, you can also use store-bought broth instead.

Possible ingredients: 

Possible ingredients: 

  • Any fresh vegetables: Onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage, etc. 
  • Frozen vegetables: Peas, corn, etc.
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Meat
  • Cooked rice, noodles, quinoa, etc.
  • Seasoning: Some great options include garlic, fennel, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes


  • Cut any large vegetables you have into bite-sized pieces. 
  • In a big pot, sauté vegetables in oil on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until soft.
  • Add your seasoning and stir.
  • Pour in the broth (and canned tomatoes if you have them).
  • Stir in any additions (tofu/meat, or rice/quinoa/noodles) and smaller vegetables (peas, corn, etc.). Bring the soup to a boil, then partially cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. 

This soup will keep for three to five days in the refrigerator and one month in the freezer. Enjoy, and rejoice in your newly available fridge space!

This recipe is adapted from the following sources:,,

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