When I was a broke college student, I used to take a little bit of everything I had in my fridge or freezer and throw in a pot of water to make what I called “Improv Soup.” It usually consisted of onion, carrots, celery, frozen mixed vegetables, maybe some leftover beans, and either potatoes or pasta. If I was really feeling extravagant, I’d add a can of tomatoes. I don’t have occasion to make it much anymore (hooray for paychecks!), but I think it’s something everyone should be able to make.
Today I’m home for the holidays, it’s snowing, and I’m feeling a bit under the weather. I spent the better part of the day in bed, and when I finally crawled out I needed something wholesome to help me kick my cold. Enter Improv Soup. Here’s today’s blend. Substitute at will.
pot of boiling water
1 bay leaf
a clove or two of garlic
1 carrot or a handful of baby carrots
1 stalk celery
4 button mushrooms
frozen lima beans or peas
handful of baby spinach or thaw some frozen spinach (or other greens)
Seasonings: I used salt, pepper, a dash of hot sauce, and some poultry seasoning.
1. Put the water on to boil with the bay leaf. While it heats up, dice the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, mushrooms, and potato and add them to the pot. Then add the frozen limas/peas
2. Simmer for 10-20 mins until the vegetables are soft. Season to taste, then stir in the baby spinach and cover the pot for a few minutes until the spinach wilts.
3. Enjoy breathing in lots of steam to clear the sinuses, drinking delicious hot broth, and knowing that you’re getting vitamin C and potassium from the potato, vitamin A from the carrots, protein and fiber from the beans, iron from the spinach, and countless good things from the onion, garlic, and mushrooms.
Now it’s back to bed, because being sick for Christmas would be super lame.