Saved from the compost – leaf and stem soup!
I get a fruit and veg box and today in my box I had beetroot, kohlrabi and radishes (and more). All of them came with leaves and stems/ stalks and I wondered if they were edible. A quick google later though and I found out that beetroot, kohrabi and radish stalks/ stems and leaves are all edible (anyone know what the difference is between stalks and stems?)! I needed to make soup, I had a whole load of leaves and stems – so I chucked them on the compost. Only joking :). I made the soup like this:
- A whole load of radish, beetroot and kohlrabi stalks, stems and leaves
- A couple of small carrots which had gone a little bit soft (you can use firm ones if you don’t have soft ones)
- 1 large onion (which had been rescued from my cold frame – read about that here)
- 5 leeks
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium sized potato
- Herbs – I sprinkled in some mixed herbs and added a in few bay leaves
- Veg stock (I shamefully used 2 stock cubes which I don’t like because they have plastic in the wrapper and sugar and palm oil in the ingredients. If you make your own, then well done you – I am not there yet with making my own!).
- Wash the ingredients and chop them into small pieces
- Put them in a large saucepan (I am trialling a large stainless steel saucepan with a lid that Mr ETL found in our loft the other day) and cover them with boiling hot water.
- Bring the pan to a boil on the hob (I usually put it on the heat for about 10 minutes).
- Turn off the heat, take the pan off the hob and wrap the saucepan in a towel
- Put the wrapped up saucepan in a freezer bag lined with a woolly jumper or a towel or Woolcool (I borrowed mine from my Abel and Cole veg box delivery) .
- Put another layer of insulation on top of the towel wrapped pan, zip up the freezer bag and leave in a warm place (the warmest room or cupboard in the house) for an hour and a half.
- You can leave it like this, but I like to whizz it up with my hand blender (make sure you take the bay leaves out first!)
- Season to taste, eat and enjoy! Freeze the leftovers to enjoy another day!
Note 1: you can make this recipe using a slow cooker instead or instead of taking the soup off the heat you could just keep it simmering for between 30 mins to an hour. I prefer the thermal cooking method because you don’t lose any water (great for reducing damp and condensation in my kitchen) and it uses a lot less energy, plus I don’t want to go out and buy a slow cooker if I don’t need one.
Note 2: This soup wasn’t the most exciting soup I have ever tasted, but tasted really nice with added egg mayo – trust me egg mayo and tuna mayo make great additions to soup!
Next time I make leaf and stem soup I think I will add more potato or some squash and possibly some stronger flavoured herbs like rosemary or thyme.
Note 3: The insulation will get a bit damp – either put them in the wash or hang them out to dry.# Next time you have some leaves and stems – save them from the compost heap by adding some herbs and veg of your choice and make up a batch of soup!