It that time again. Time for your ‘refrigerator clean up leftover use up recipes’ of the week. This week we focus on a recipes to use up leftover cheese and vegetables in a creamy salsa soup. Eating vegetarian or vegan? I’ve got recipes for you too. This meal makes a perfect fall harvest soup for a chilly autumn day. Best of all you get a hearty meal, a clean refrigerator and freezer and no food goes to waste.
Step one: dig out those Ziploc bags of partially used onions, tomatoes, green peppers, celery, multi-colored peppers, avocados, heads of cabbage and hot peppers. Don’t forget those sliced tomatoes and onions from the hamburgers you made last week. Check your freezer for opened packages of frozen onions, corn, peppers and tomatoes. Collect all the partially eaten jars of salsa, tomatoes, artichokes, spaghetti sauce, bottled V-8 or tomato juice and pickled peppers. Got a garden? This soup is a great way to use up those last vegetables in your harvest. Add those peppers and tomatoes.
Pour leftover contents of jars into a large soup kettle. Rinse jars and add that water to the pot (this cleans out the jars for recycling and uses up the last remnants in the jar.) Chop fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, cabbage, avocado and celery into pieces. Turn to med-high to bring contents to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Add frozen vegetables. Add a little cilantro, cumin, garlic, lemon or lime juice and chili powder if you don’t have enough salsa for taste. Add a jar or salsa or a can of tomatoes if you wish.
Next, go through your refrigerator and freezer, top to bottom. Collect all those partially used bags of shredded cheese, cheese cubes, packages of cream cheese, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, sour cream and processed cheese. You know how those opened containers and packages of cheese add up. I’ve hit a record number of eight half-eaten packages of cheese products in one fell swoop! When the soup is simmering on low boil, add all leftover cheese to salsa base. Stir until cheese melts and soup becomes creamy.
— Leftover cooked chicken removed from bone or canned chicken (add broth, too)
— Beans: navy, great northern, pinto, red, kidney, turtle, garbanzo, lima beans
— Leftover hummus (if you follow a vegan diet, use hummus in place of cheese in soup
— Leftover tofu
— Plain rice, soy or almond milk (unsweetened). Again vegans, substitute for cheese.
Serve with crushed tortilla chips. Package up a batch for your new neighbors, a local shut-in, friend who is ill or that family that just had a new baby. For more ‘Refrigerator Clean Up Leftover Use Up Recipes’ visit my linked blogs.