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Garbage Truck Soup aka Clean-out-the Fridge Soup

I already introduced you to my Clean-Out-the-Refrigerator Pasta. You can make soup the same way. But first, a word about the recipe name: When I was in college I worked at Pizza Hut, and when people ordered a pizza with every possible ingredient on it, we waitresses would yell at the cook, "One large garbage truck!" After some customers took offense to our judgement of their taste, we were told not to call it that anymore. But, I still love the name. So, if you don't want to call your soup a Garbage Truck Soup, you can call it a Clean-out-the-Fridge Soup, or Leftovers Soup or name it whatever you want. I'm sure y'all can come up with something more creative.

Anyway, there's no real recipe for this, but here's what you do:

First, take a look at all the leftovers you have just hanging out in your fridge, waiting to party. Pull 'em out, and eyeball 'em. Now, I'm not talking about the ones that look as though they're in their costume ready for the Halloween Zombie Walk downtown. You want the ones with a little life left to them. Use the smell/taste test-if they smell good and taste good, they're good. As my mama always taught me, waste not, want not. So, don't waste those leftovers!

In my picture above, I have lintels, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, green beans, onions, barley, and remember the slow-cooker chicken? Yep, the last of that went in. I didn't have enough of the slow-cooker chicken broth, so I added some boxed low sodium chicken broth, which is an item you must always have in your pantry. I try to keep one each of the chicken, beef and vegetable.


Protein (chicken, beef, pork, beans)

Vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, onion, green beans, squash of any kind, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, etc.)

Cooked pasta/rice/grain-optional, but added yumminess (yes, Spellcheck, I know that's not a word, but it should be)

Broth (beef, chicken, vegetable)-enough to cover your other ingredients by about an inch.

Salt/pepper/garlic (whatever spices your heart desires)

Toppings: Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, Mexican cheese, croutons, pica de gallo, avocado (again, use your imagination)


If your veggies are raw, in a dutch oven or large boiler, stir fry them in about a tablespoon of olive oil. If they're cooked already, just dump them in the pot.

Toss in everything else, bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, in order for all the ingredients to "marry." (Don't you just love that term applied to food? I can just picture the green beans holding hands with the tomatoes, with the bell pepper officiating...)

Serve with cornbread, Italian bread, breadsticks, or crackers.

Happy Cooking!

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