Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Great Summer Pantry & Freezer Clearance: Day 1

White Bean and Pesto Soup
In my freezer you will find a big bag for collecting veggie scraps and trimmings in. When the bag is full, I make vegetable stock and then freeze that to use later. All in all, it's not a bad system. Unless I haven't made soup for awhile... and just finished cooking up another batch of stock. Clearly, I needed to make some soup. What I wanted was a soup that wasn't too heavy. It is summer after all, though most evenings are chilly. I also wanted a soup that didn't have a shopping list of ingredients. Did I mention that I have beans in the freezer too? Yep, two kinds.  Is it soup yet?  Almost...

This is about as simple a soup as you can make. If you use store bought pesto, it's even simpler. With a food processor though, making your own pesto is virtually effortless, and much much cheaper. Either way, you can freeze any leftover pesto if you don't have immediate plans for it.

Served with some sourdough or whole-grain toast, it's just right for lunch or a light dinner. It isn't the heartiest of soups, but it has loads of flavor and is surprisingly filling. And the best part... It couldn't be simpler if it tried.

My notes: Used one TJ's 4 oz. container of fresh basil. Added 1/4 cup of walnuts and one extra garlic clove to the pesto. Used homemade vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Used pre-cooked white beans from the freezer. Added a large piece of Romano cheese rind to the soup while it was cooking. Used 2 heaping Tblsp of the pesto in the soup instead of just one. Put remaining pesto in a small jar, and poured a layer of olive oil on top before freezing. Ladled the soup into freezer containers, labeled and stored in freezer.

    Blog Widget by LinkWithin


    1. Oh, what a great idea! I always feel so bad about the scraps I toss (or the carrots I don't get to). But they could just go in the freezer, yeah? For stock. I need to raid the fridge now, before the carrots start juicing themselves ...

    2. Leslie: I just use a big ziploc freezer bag and when it's stuffed full, that's my cue to make stock. Vegetable trimmings, wilted spinach, overly flexible carrots... I call it my scrap bag. I posted the method I use to make the stock back in December of 2009 ("Veg Stock"). I'd link to it, but I can't figure out how to add a link in a comment! Oh well, I can't be good at EVERYTHING! Hahaha :)

    3. Haha! I'm going to have to go in search of it. I have a drawer full of carrots and celery I really meant to make stock with ... and now I fear I won't get to it before it's too late. Thanks!

    4. Leslie: If they're not fuzzy or covered in black splotches then they're probably fine for stock, so get freezing! I just rescued three bunches of beet greens from a friend who was going to compost them. After a rinse and a spin, they're headed for my "scrap bag" in the freezer.


    Take a moment to say "Howdy!"... I'd love to hear from you!