This recipe is meant to be an edible way to compost all your wayward produce. “Pantry vegetables” are the sturdy ones that last a while in the crisper drawer of your fridge. The green veggies cook quickly, which means you should add them toward the end of the soup process. Another great addition from the garbage bowl: a Parmesan or Pecorino rind to add a rich, cheesy flavor to the broth. Next time you finish a wedge, save the rind in your freezer until it’s soup time.
Experiencing a different type of desperation? This soup can also be made with canned or frozen vegetables. If pre-cooked or canned, simply stir into the soup with the beans. For canned, it's best to rinse thoroughly.
When I’m in the mood for a little more protein, I start by browning 1/2 pound of organic chicken or turkey sausage at the beginning of this recipe.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Sauté the onions and pantry vegetables over medium-high heat until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute. Pour in the tomatoes and simmer until the liquid is reduced and the tomato chunks have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, salt, and red pepper flakes to the pot. Bring to a boil.
Stir in the beans, green vegetables, and pasta (if using), then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Off the heat, stir in herbs and taste for seasoning. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and shaved Parmesan or Pecorino for a salty bite.
Phoebe is a writer, gluten-free chef, culinary instructor, award-winning blogger, and author of The Wellness Project. You can find her healthy comfort food and gluten-free finds on www.FeedMePhoebe.com