Slapdash Dinner: Garbage Soup, Take 1

One of the great, great things about having roommates who cook is coming home to an apartment that smells amazing. The other night, I walked in the door and was immediately struck by the scent of something vegetable-y wafting deliciously from the kitchen. “What are you making?” I asked my suitemate, Rachel. “It smells so good!”

“Oh, it’s just garbage soup!” she exclaimed. “It’s so easy to make, you literally just take whatever you have in the fridge and let it simmer for a really long time.”

With that in mind, and using a recipe for something called a yoga pot (whatever this dish is, it seems to have multiple awesome names) as a template, I set to work making my own version. I don’t have any process pictures, because you really just dump everything into a pot and let it simmer, but (very loosely interpretable) instructions are under the cut.

-2 tsp olive oil
-1 tsp garlic, minced
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-Baby carrots
-2 small heads of broccoli
-1 medium zucchini
-1 can chick peas
-2 cans diced tomatoes
-Lentils, precooked (they sell precooked lentils by the bagful at Trader Joe’s)
-Chili powder (leave out if you don’t want it to be spicy. mine had a slight kick but didn’t actually cause any mouth-tingling)
-Cayenne pepper (see above)
-Cilantro, dried
-Parmesan cheese, for grating

Of course, this can be varied to include anything you have in the fridge, including meat. You can also substitute canned tomatoes for chicken or vegetable broth.

Instructions: Heat oil in a pot or a skillet with high edges. Saute garlic and onion over medium heat until onion starts to soften. Add the rest of the vegetables and saute for an additional five minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes, chick peas, and all the spices, to taste. Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes (more if you want the flavors to meld more, less if you get hungry before then. This recipe is VERY forgiving). Serve on its own or with rice, couscous, or quinoa.

Also, be advised: this recipe makes inexhaustible leftovers. This entire tupperware was full after I made the stew; this picture was taken after two helpings of leftovers.


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