Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Inventing dinner

I cannot think of a way to write this post without trotting out the following food writing clichés:

1. The weather is getting cooler, which makes us think about heartier, more filling cold-weather food.
2. Soup is a great way to use up leftovers.

Just so we all know where we stand.

Actually, the weather got cooler very unexpectedly: it was 86F (27C) yesterday, but today it rained buckets, complete with thunderstorms (although we missed out on the tornadoes that were roaming around to the south and west) and suddenly soup seemed appealing. Especially because we spent the afternoon waiting to find out if soccer practice would be on (making dinner a more haphazard affair, eaten in shifts), or rained out.

The phone call to say it was rained out came at 5:00, at which point I scoured the fridge for something I could turn into a passable meal. I came up with:

- a couple of cups of leftover ratatouille;
- some grilled onions and peppers left over from a batch of fajitas;
- a container of tomato sauce I’d made last week; and
- three cooked sausages.

So I heated some olive oil in a good-sized pot; sliced an onion and threw it in to sauté for a few minutes; dumped in the leftover ratatouille and fajita veg and sautéed that a bit too; poured in the tomato sauce; and thinned it out with water that I’d swirled through the various empty containers in lieu of stock, which I’m out of.

I left that all to heat up while I mixed up a batch of this soda bread (spiked with pecorino romano rather than cheddar, which I’m also out of), and while that baked, I pureed the soup with my stick blender, added a bit more water to thin it to the consistency I had in mind, and chopped up the sausage to stir in at the end.

With a block of blue cheese alongside, it was dinner. And it consolidated four containers’ worth of leftovers into one, which is always a good thing in my chronically overcrowded refrigerator. I’m not sure it qualifies as a recipe; maybe as a spur to think creatively about what’s in your fridge?


Celia said... Best Blogger Tips

Nancy, sounds like a very hearty soup indeed! Stay warm.. :)

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