Vegetable Soup Recipe

Food waste: a serious drain on my family’s bottom line– as well as a waste of my time/energy. I grocery shop once a week: committing a full weekday morning to this activity. I shop at a minimum of three stores: making the rounds at Aldi’s, Walmart, Shop ‘n Save and occasionally Giant Eagle or a specialty store like The Uncommon Market, if I am in need  for a particular spice or exotic ingredient. The amount of fresh fruit and veggies, as well as leftovers that I have to toss into the trash on a weekly basis is a disgrace. This disposal of food is a total waste of money, time and a drain on the environment.quinoa soup

After much thought as to how to reduce the amount of food waste (in this case specifically vegetables) I decided to try a weekly soup.  On the day I grocery shop–before I unpack the new, fresh groceries, I gather up all of last week’s unused vegetables and place them on the kitchen counter. Then I proceed to unpack and put away the fresh groceries. After I have everything put away, I take out a soup pot and my ‘old’ vegetables and begin the process of making a soup to accompany that day’s dinner.

Ingredients (what I had on hand):

  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 bag of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 quarts of chicken stock (I buy no salt added)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa


  1. Heat oil in soup pot. Add onion, peppers, carrots, celery. Cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add in tomatoes and garlic. Add in spices. Cook 2 -3 minutes.soup2
  3. Cover with broth. Bring to a boil and then cover and turn down to a simmer.soup with broth added
  4. In a small pot cook quinoa according to package directions.
  5. After 30 minutes, add in spinach to the soup pot. (Rough chop spinach before adding it to the soup.) Give soup a good stir. Continue to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes longer.soup with spinach
  6. Add in quinoa to soup pot. Stir, serve and enjoy.
  7. Garnish as desired with scallions, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.quinoa soup

Delicious soup– Satisfying and healthy– I served this with a salad and Italian bread. This soup is versatile; use what is in your crisper drawer/pantry and your imagination to combat the food waste. Examples: use brown rice instead of quinoa, omit spinach, add mushrooms, etc.  Feel free to share your tips/tricks/recipes to fighting the ongoing food waste battle.

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