Mrs Green cooks brown stuff

Filed in Blog by on November 17, 2008 13 Comments
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broccoli - for zero waste soupI was feeling a pang of guilt on Saturday night. I had the ‘great idea’ of buying up some reduced goodies in the farm shop – a bag of organic spinach and some broccoli. In addition, I had the good fortune of spotting a huge tub of cream for 25p in the supermarket. But laziness kicked in and I couldn’t be bothered to do anything with my loot.

I spent the evening feeling more and more guilty as the biological clock ticked past the cream’s best before date and the broccoli sighed and started to go yellow around the edges.

Remembering how great it felt to place 16 apple crumbles in the freezer the other week and how much joy it still brings me to gaze lovingly at my jars of chutney on a regular basis, I decided to give myself a good talking to and head to the kitchen for a soup-making fest.

I figured some cream of spinach soup and broccoli and cheese soup would go down a treat. There was some caerphilly cheese approaching the green furry jumper stage, so that was perfect for soup making.spinach and broccoli soup

An hour later I had created my masterpieces and fabulous smells wafted around our home. I was looking forward to showing off my bright green creations, bursting with antioxidants and chlorophyll and was thinking about all sorts of witty puns for the title of this post.

Only I ended up with brown stuff instead……..

I’m not sure where I went wrong with my colour palette, but hey, it tasted great and I saved four food items from ending up in the landfill. I even reused some yogurt pots and labelled them before I put them into the freezer – now that’s progress!


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 (13)

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  1. Poppy says:

    It may be brown, but it still looks scrummy and I’m sure on a cold day like this, it would go down a treat with some nice buttered crusty bread. Actually, could you send some over as I’m totally fruzzed at the moment!

    I really must go mooch round the kitchen to find some lunch to warm me up 🙂

  2. Di Hickman says:

    I’m still eating my potato cauliflower and broccoli soup I made weeks ago. I put lots of mine in the freezer and am taking a tub out every few days. I actually took some out last night for lunch today. Nothing like homemade soup! Good for you for fighting off the blahs!

  3. Mrs Green says:

    😀 thanks Poppy; never judge a book by its cover they say. And it was right for the soup. LMG looked at it and turned up her nose, but before long had finished her bowlful and was asking for more. (I only gave it to her when she had admitted in loud tones that I was right 😀 )
    Hope you found something yummy for lunch in the end.

    Thanks Di and glad you are still enjoying your creations. It has a certain feel-good factor to it that I will remember next time I can’t be bothered to get into the kitchen.

  4. maisie says:

    I did this the other week, had a small pumpkin in my veg box and had lots of carrots, so made carrot and pumpkin soup, then DH was given a couple of caulis so I made Cauli & potato. I also do leek & potato, and will be making carrot & leek tomorrow.

    I tend to use chicken stock as the base and add some potato as athickener.

    I want to make a broccoli and stilton but will have to wait until after Xmas when there will be some stilton leftover.

  5. Oh, I love it when I can manage to use up a bunch of stuff like that. Good job!

  6. Kris says:

    Can anyone point towards an incredibly basic and beginnerish recipe for soup making (I could do broccoli and stilton as I had the biggest piece of stilton I’ve seen in my life for my birthday! :)) please?

    I don’t really know where to start and have always been a bit put off by the fact I don’t have an electric blender but presumably there must be the option of old school crushing/mashing/ricing etc to smooth it down?

  7. anne says:

    Yes! I am looking for a good cream of spinach soup recipe, too! Spill the beans, er, spinach…

  8. Lori S says:

    Your soup sounds really good, Mrs. Green. I would like some wonderful soup recipes too, as Kris & Anne mentioned. I managed to burn some blueberry muffins & oatmeal almond cookies this past weekend, but none went into the trash so far. I placed a teaspoon of water on each cookie & microwaved them in a covered dish along with a separate cup of water, & they softened & became edible! The cupcakes didn’t need any water on them, as they weren’t hard as rocks like the cookies, so I just smeared some healthy margarine on them, covered them with a lid, & microwaved them with the cup of water in there. I used 50 percent power in both cases. Years ago I would have just thrown it all away in disgust!

  9. Mrs Green says:

    Oooo, carrot and pumpkin soup, Maisie – I can only begin to imagine the wonderful colour! I’m afraid I didn’t let lack of stilton stop me making broccoli soup; I just chucked some caerphilly in there and made do 😀

    It’s a feel good thing, isn’t it Kristen. I just have to remember now to take it out the freezer and actually use it. Do I need to defrost it or can i cook from frozen? I guess I could stick it frozen on top of the woodburner for the afternoon and it would be ready by tea time. Mmmm, free cooking power too 🙂

    Kris, Anne and Lori, your wish is my command. I’ll put up a couple of recipes later in the week.

    Mashing is fine Kris; although broccoli stalks don’t mash very well unless really well cooked. Why not ask for a hand held blender on freecycle? I just gave one away – I wish I’d known you were after one 🙁

    Well done on saving your baking, Lori – that was very inventive and I’m sure they tasted just as good!

  10. Marie Phillips says:

    Reading of other people’s “mistakes” in the kitchen reminds of the time when we were really short of money and I’d made a batch of cinnamon buns. Only I put ground cloves in them by mistake. Couldn’t afford to throw them out so made a really sweet custard and they were all eaten. I was more careful after that but I did find custard covered a multitude of sins!

  11. Mrs Green says:

    Hi marie, Ouch – cloves instead of cinnamon; I bet they warmed you up! I think you’re right; custard can rescue many an inedible pudding LOL!

  12. Liz Green says:

    The other thing that makes great soup is watercress – this is king of the super-foods, even better for you than spinach. There are lots of recipes on the web and if you cannot get the children to eat anything remotely green then this might be a way to get those extra vitamins into them. Watercress seems to be regularly reduced in the supermarket too – I suspect it has a fairly short shelf-life so look out for the bargains in the salad section.

  13. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Liz, we are big watercress eaters here – all of us! Luckily, LMG will eat it with a meal just as it is, but soup is a fab way of using up any bits that are going past their best 🙂

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