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Jacques Pépin shows you how to make an easy soup using fridge leftovers and vegetables.
"One of my favorite foods is soup," Jacques says. "We do soup in the summer, winter, all the time. This one was labeled by my wife 'Fridge Soup,' because occasionally I go through the refrigerator, I [take] a piece of one thing or another and we do a soup with it. This soup recipe can never be the same. It all depends on leftovers so it is the spirit of the recipe which counts. [This is] what I did with what was available in my fridge that day."
Jacques' Pro Tip: Trim away and discard any less than ideal bits from old vegetables and use the good bits for the soup. "I don't want to use spoiled [vegetables], but I'll clean them up," he says.
- Leftover or raw chicken skin, for topping (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- ½ leek
- 3 scallions
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 potato
- 2 celery ribs
- 3 mushrooms
- 1 cup broccoli pieces
- 2 cups leftover salad
- ½ cup leftover cooked spinach
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 2 quarts chicken stock, or 2 quarts water with 1 tablespoon chicken stock base or bouillon powder mixed in
- ⅓ cup instant grits
- Grated cheese, pats of butter, or drizzle of olive oil, for serving
If using the chicken skin, preheat oven to 400˚F. If raw, season with salt. Roast until crisp and browned, 5 to 10 minutes if leftover or 20 to 25 minutes if raw.
Trim all the vegetables, wash and cut into ¾ inch pieces so vegetables are a similar size for even cooking. Place in a pot with the stock and bring to a boil. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, then add the grits, stir and boil for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated cheese and top with crisp chicken skin.