I'm sure every frugal cook has their own version of "anything goes" soup; this is mine! It's a bit of a joke around our house that when we have this soup for dinner I've managed to make a meal out of stuff most people would have thrown out. Honestly, even though that's sometimes pretty close to the truth, it's still one of the best soups I make. Although it never comes out exactly the same twice, it always makes a tasty and filling meal.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 carrot, diced
1 cup frozen peas or green beans
1 cup dried red lentils
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¾ - 1 cup crushed tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp dried parsley (or ¼ cup fresh minced)
In a large saucepan, saute garlic and onions in oil until tender. Add stock, water, carrots, peas, lentils, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender (about 10-15 minutes). Add the crushed tomatoes, lemon juice and parsley and simmer another 10-15 minutes to allow flavours to blend.
I've successfully used all of the following in this soup:
-leftover cooked vegetables (in place of the carrots and peas)
-small amounts of leftover gravies and sauces
-scraps of cheese or the last bit of sour cream from the bottom of the container
-small amounts (less than 1/2 cup) leftover mashed potatoes
-leftover cooked rice or barley (or any cooked grain)
-finely diced leftover meat
Depending on how many additions you use, you may need to add some more water or stock to thin it out a bit.