So, this morning -- the day after the particularly long holiday break, imo, I'm snooping into my fridge and cupboards for my usual Monday morning inventory check before I head out to the grocery store, and I see the following:
1/2 of a 500g bag of dried yellow split-peas (so, about 250g dried split-peas -- these are the kind Indians make dhal with)
3 carrot sticks
3 celery sticks
3 small onions
5 wandering cloves of fresh garlic
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
8 small vine-tomatoes
1/2 bag baby spinach leaves
and I get to thinking, "Why go shopping? With all this cornucopia in the home ;), I'm making Cupboard Soup!!" OK, I didn't call it 'Cupboard Soup' at that moment, but I did soak the split-peas for a couple hours (it says this was not necessary, but I still do it to rinse off some of the excess starch anyway), put them in a soup pot covered with cold water (about 1 1/2 liters -- you can add more or less depending on whether you want a thick or 'soupy' soup), bring to the boil, lower to a gentle boil for 10 minutes (to 'de-gas' the split-peas) and then add a bay leaf, and lower further to a simmer for about an hour. At this point I added an organic chicken stock-cube, but you can add any stock you want (or stock gel or best to add is homemade stock, if you have it!). I chopped up the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and sauteed them till soft (about 12-15 minutes) in olive oil, chopped up the vine tomatoes and roasted them in a hot oven till slightly charred, and then mixed the softened vegetables and the tomatoes into the split-peas while simmering and simmered for another 20 minutes. While the soup was simmering this extra 20 minutes, I tipped in the 1/2 bag of baby spinach leaves (they were pre-washed, otherwise, I would've washed them), chopped and added the parsley, seasoned with salt&pepper to taste, and also added about 1/2 tsp of dried thyme, 1/4 tsp dried oregano. And.....Voila! I have tonight's meal -- Cupboard Soup! I usually sprinkle some fresh-grated parmesean cheese over before serving and, for those of us in the home who want it ( I want it, but I forego it as I am 50+ and have to watch my carb intake -- lucky me!!), a toasted slice of whole-grain bread or a whole-grain cracker or two and the meal is complete!
And the best part -- I didn't spend a red pence today!!!! Bring it on, Tuesday ;)
Happy HEALTHY New Year, Everyone!
xo, MJ, RD