More zero waste presents

Filed in Blog by on September 2, 2008 5 Comments
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beetroot soup a zero waste meal
Yesterday, Mrs A started our week of zero waste celebrations with a beautiful and generous gift. She sent us a bouquet of flowers from Wiggly Wigglers, complete with recyclable packaging.

Today, our neighbour came over with some fresh beetroot from his garden and half a dozen eggs from his chickens. Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables at the moment, roasted in the oven with butter and garlic.

I rifled through the fridge and vegetable box to see what I could find to pad the beetroot out to make soup. I found an onion that was sprouting, a potato that was starting to go soft and some cooked carrot that was left over from a couple of days ago.

Making soup is so easy to do and should be at the top of the list for anyone wanting to reduce food waste. There are plenty of books and websites dedicated to this culinary delight, but once you’ve made a few you’ll find yourself just putting anything into a pot with a few herbs and creating some unique soups of your own.

Some will be great, some will provide food for the dog, but to coin a British phrase; it’s the taking part that counts.

For those of you who are completely new to cooking soup, here’s a rough idea of what I did:

In a saucepan, melt some butter or oil (about 1oz of butter or 1 tablespoon of oil I should think)
Add 1 medium chopped onion,
1 medium chopped carrot
1 large diced potato
3 small diced beetroot
1 chopped clove of garlic
1 teaspoon mixed, dried herbs

Gently fry until softened – just leave the lid on and let it take care of itself while you go off and have a cup of tea, browse this excellent website or go off and do your pledges for half an hour.

Come back to the soup and add some stock – around 1 pint for this quantity of vegetables.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer with a lid on until all the vegetables are soft. This won’t take long – about 15 minutes.

Then cool a little and blitz until it’s a thick puree. Season to taste.
Et voila – lunch and tea for a day or a yummy treat for an office lunch if you take it in a thermos and drink warm during your break.

In the past I have blitz this soup with a generous piece of feta cheese or a handful of spinach leaves. You can add some cream if you like to add that extra comfort feeling.

Top with a few snipped chives and serve with home made bread – you do make your own bread don’t you? 😉

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (5)

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  1. Hi Mrs Green,

    That is a good alternative way for soup. My particular favourite is tomato, basil goes well with it, so a tomato, basil and vegetable soup is a possibility. What ingredients would you suggest, if any different from above.

  2. Mrs Green says:

    Tomato and basil deserves to be in a class of its own, John; especially with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Although some red pepper can add some interest.

    Other favourites here are celery and leek; sounds strange but works really well with some blue cheese blitz in at the end and vegetable and red lentil – perfect for winter evenings. I also like a chickpea and tomato one; you can add pasta at the end to make a meal from it.

  3. jen cleanbin says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to give it a go with the beets from our garden. Very timely post too as it’s heading into the fall. I always forget how easy it is to make soup, but last night we were in a pinch and had nothing but zucchinis that I had let grow a little too large, so we had zucchini soup.

  4. I make a home made tomato soup and it HAS to be with home made bread. I can hide all sorts of veg in it if we have bits that need using up or stuff that one of the kids doesn’t like.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    Ah Jen, zucchini soup sounds great – I’m thinking of making some marrow chutney this week as a couple of my courgettes grew overnight.

    Sarah; soup is a very cool way to hide things, isn’t it?! And you’re right – home made bread is a must 🙂

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