Perhaps this is not the most interesting or appetizing sounding title for a recipe, but it’s the absolute truth. I used a base of red beans, their cooking liquid, with some additional water, and added some leftover cremini mushrooms, a few carrots, some frozen corn, and half an onion. This soup turned out very tasty. I had a bag of red beans in my freezer, and I soaked them overnight, put them in the crock pot on low, and they cooked while I was at work. I came home and made this soup within about a half hour. This is the perfect time of year to make a hearty pot of soup, and this combo turned out to be a winner.
Soups are really excellent ways of cleaning out one’s refrigerator by using odds and ends, especially where vegetables are concerned. Basically, a soup can be made with any number of combinations of vegetables, grains, beans, herbs, and possibly cheese and/or meat. I view soups more as a tasty vehicle to get your vegetables easily in one bowl, so I typically keep my soups to the vegetables/herbs/grains/beans combo.
I enjoyed my soup with an Ebenezer Ale from Bridgeport brewery in Portland and a piece of my very own homemade whole wheat baguette with organic butter. Yum! Talk about comfort food on a cold day.
Note that my ingredients are approximations–soup is one of those dishes where you can be absolutely flexible on amounts. Who cares if you don’t have a whole cup of frozen corn? Use what you have, or, I don’t know, use some frozen peas.
Makes about 4 servings
About 3 cups cooked red beans (adzuki beans are fun), or 2 cans of red beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 large onion or one medium onion
3 peeled and sliced carrots
1 cup frozen corn
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cook for a few minutes, then add the carrots, mushrooms, and a bay leaf. Add a few pinches of salt and some pepper.
Cook, stirring every few minutes, for about 5 minutes. Then add the frozen corn.
Stir to mix, then add the beans, plus about 3 cups of cooking liquid and 3 cups of water, or 6 cups of water if you’re using canned beans. Add some salt, about 2 teaspoons. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the soup boils, turn the heat down to medium and cover. Cook until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Once the soup is finished cooking, remove the bay leaf . When the soup cools a bit, taste to determine if you need additional salt. Grind some pepper over the top, and enjoy with a salad, some bread, and maybe a beer. I’m really enjoying the seasonal beers, like Ebenezer.
If you want to make your own refrigerator soup, all you really do is follow these same steps–heat some oil, saute some veggies, add some liquid along with beans and/or grains, bring to a boil, turn down to medium, and cook until the vegetables are tender. That’s it!