Kitchen Hacks, Maggie's Soups, Soups

Never Ever Throw This Ingredient Out!

Today I will share with you one of my favorite hacks to boost nutrient content in your cooking and to have a source of stock for things like soups, gravies, stews, and more.

I like to steam my veggies in a steamer pot.

Broccoli in my steamer pan

So yesterday I steamed up some green beans for dinner and then after dinner I boiled some sweet potatoes for one of my favorite brownie recipes that has avocado and sweet potatoes in it.

What is left after steaming and boiling your veggies is nutrient dense water! I save that water and use it in my cooking and I will give you an example from today.

My leftover water from steaming my beans and boiling my sweet potatoes.

I saved my water from steaming my beans last night and from boiling my sweet potatoes and mixed them together to store in jars in the refrigerator for future use. This stock can be used in anything…. even smoothies!

Today is Sunday and at our house on Sundays we do a breakfasty brunch and I like to put potatoes on a sheet pan with some spices and roast them in the oven. So today I soaked them in some of this stock with some spices and it added a whole new dimension to them! And of course after soaking I am adding that stock to the batch too! Potatoes are full of so many nutrients and I don’t want to toss that water either!

The water left from soaking my breakfast potatoes in my water from my beans and sweet potatoes.
Potatoes soaking in the veggie water… I let the soak for about 20 minutes and tossed every once in awhile.
My nutrient dense roasted potatoes.

So there you have it. Always keep your veggie water from steaming or boiling and then get creative as to what you can use it for. It is especially perfect for soup stocks!

I hope you enJOYed today’s hack and I encourage you to get creative in your kitchen too!

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Creamed Celery Pulp, Potato & Cauliflower Soup that is Dairy Free!

A beautiful bowl of this creamy dreamy dairy free soup … with celery juice pulp, potato, and cauliflower.

Amazing Dairy-Free Soup! Soothing & Healing Soup!

I love this soup and made it just the other day after a request from my 14 year old daughter. She loves this soup and that makes me HAPPY. I won’t lie because I know how absolutely healthy this soup is and also delicious I might add, and we all know how hard it is to get kids and teens into healthy eating… just sayin. 🙂

And the best part is that I am going to show you exactly how to make it!

Let’s start with our ingredient list:

1 Head of Cauliflower or a Bag of Frozen Cauliflower

3 Medium Sized Potatoes peeled

3 Sticks of Celery washed

Celery Juice Pulp (as much as you want) and if you don’t have pulp because you don’t use juice celery like a lot of us do, just leave this out 🙂

3 Garlic Cloves chopped

Fresh Ginger or Powdered Ginger

Fresh Turmeric or Powdered Turmeric

Some type of hot spice or hot sauce to put a little bit on the cauliflower before roasting

Potato Water or Stock

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Let’s Make It!

Assemble your ingredients!

Chopped celery, onions, potatoes, nubs of ginger, turmeric, garlic and celery pulp

Roast The Cauliflower

My bag of frozen cauliflower in the oven roasting

The first thing to do in this recipe is to roast the cauliflower in the oven. I put it in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil or coconut oil on it and sprinkle with a buffalo spice or you can toss in a little bit of buffalo sauce or hot sauce of some sort. The ginger and turmeric offer some heat to the recipe too so there has to be a balance that works for you and your family’s heat level but we like a little heat.

Next is to put the tossed cauliflower on a sheet pan and cook or roast in the oven. I usually cook it at about 350 degrees until soft and the way I like it but you could raise the heat and really roast it to a nice brown color which adds a totally different flavor. You can play with this recipe to get it to how you like it.

Once the cauliflower is cooked the way you like it, you can add it to the soup when the time is right. I am also going to add here a reminder… in cooking feel free to experiment! That is the whole fun of it. And please note that you can be roasting the cauliflower while you get the rest of the soup going and here is how we do that….

First we saute the garlic in a little olive oil just until fragrant. In the picture above I didn’t use enough so I have adapted the recipe to 3 cloves! Again use your own judgement after making it the first time.

Garlic sauteeing in some Olive Oil

As for your pot. Use a pot that you love to make this soup. I used my brand new cast iron Staub pan that I just got the other day. Everything about making soup should involve love right down to the pot! -)

My new Staub pot… love it!

Next add the onion and the spices and stir a bit and let it cook for a minute or two. I use a grater for the fresh ginger and turmeric and do about 6 full grates. If you are using powered you will need to play with it but I am guessing 1/2 tsp of each would be good.

The onions, garlic and some grated ginger and tumeric….

Now add the celery and cook for a few minutes until a little soft. Next add in the celery juice pulp, potatoes and the potato water and or stock and salt and pepper.

Added in the celery pulp with the onion and garlic and celery
My Potato Water

What is Potato Water?

Potato water is just the water left from boiling a pot of potatoes. 🙂 I save that amazing water and use it in soups, gravies and stocks. It is loaded with nutrients and helps to add a creaminess to the soup because of the starch content. I am an ADVOCATE of the role of potatoes for nutrition and recommend eating them often. So add as much potato water or stock of some sort as you want. I added just enough to cover the ingredients a little as you can see in the picture above.

If you don’t know what kind of stock to use I suggest using an organic low sodium bouillion cube or two added to water. You can also use leftover water from boiling or steaming veggies. Always keep that nutrient dense and flavorful water too!

Add salt and pepper to your liking and any other seasonings that resonate with you. I added a bit of a vegetable seasoning that I get from a local grocery store that I like. Now boil the soup until the potatoes are tender.

The soup cooking up

Next transfer into a blender or Vitamin and blend until smooth. You can also opt to leave some of the soup out and add back in later so you have some chunks if you want. Either way is good.

When the soup is cooked it heads to the Vitamix or Blender to puree
Looking good in the Vitamix

Now Bowl and enJOY!

The final bowl of this delicious soup! Creamed Celery Pulp, Potato & Cauliflower

And keep your leftovers in the refrigerator for an easy go-to source for a bowl of nutritious and delicious creamy soup that is dairy-free, soothing, and loaded with nutrition.

I like to keep my leftover soup in jars like this:

I hope that you enjoyed this recipe and that you try this soup. I would love to hear any additions you make to it and what your favorite heat ratio is. This batch did not have enough heat for our liking and we missed it but no worries I just added in a bit of hot sauce after the fact and it worked! That is a great soup hack also! 🙂

Have a great day everyone!

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Chicken Noo Noo Soup

When my daughter was little I would always call noodles ‘noo noos’ and I admit I still do it to this day lol!

Today I made some rock star Chicken Noo Noo Soup that is so soothing for the soul.

I used up some leftover turkey soup stock that I had made at Christmas time from the leftover turkey carcass. After making it I froze it in a mason jar for future use and the future is now lol. Actually I got several jars from the batch which is great because this stock can be used in more than just soup.

You could use it in a gravy, a stew, or even as a liquid base for a whole new meal in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or even a Cast Iron pan in the oven. For example throw in some chicken parts, potatoes, carrots, onions, and/or what you like, add some of the stock, salt and pepper and put it in the oven at 325 degrees for about 1.5 hours and voila!

Jars Are Great!

Mason type glass jars are excellent for freezing leftover soup, stock, chilis and more! Just don’t fill them to the top. You need to leave some space for the expansion when it freezes.

Class jar with my turkey stock from my Christmas Turkey

Waste Not

I do not waste anything when it comes to food. I love using these go-to’s for creations like today’s soup that I made.

Check out this video I made of the soup as it was cooking. And note the noo noos are not in here yet… they were boiling on the stove burner behind. I don’t like to add them until just before serving. And they too will go in a mason jar or similar and only be added to the soup as I warm up what I am eating at one sitting.

However, if you are wondering what the things in the soup that look like noodles are, they are cauliflower shreds! They are from one of those bags of slaw type veggies. I love using those for soups and such.

One day I will share with you all my pea soup hack that makes it way more nutrient dense without anyone even knowing… but Shh you will have to promise not to tell though 😉

7 second video of my chicken soup cooking and looking all delicious like 🙂

And these are the noo noos I used. Actually this was my first time using these and I have to say I like them the best for Chicken Noodle Soup. They are La Molisana Semi Di Melone N 61, Trafilata Al Bronzo. I have no idea what all that means but anyhoo here is a picture of the delightful little critters.

The little noodles I add to the chicken soup just before eating so they don’t get all mushy. Aka “Noo Noos” 🙂

In closing I want to remind everyone that you do not need a recipe to cook soup. I never make it the same way twice.

You throw in whatever you have around the kitchen that remotely seems like it will go with the style of soup you are making and presto…soup 🙂

Have fun with soup making and use up those odds and ends in the fridge and freezer. :-))

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My Soups

A lot of people ask me about my soup recipes. Most of the time or actually almost ALL of the time there is no recipe. It’s soup. I throw in whatever I have.

Yesterday I made this amazing beef vegetable barley soup with a leftover prime rib roast I had in the fridge. I didn’t take any pictures along the way, but thought I would still share some of the things I did in case someone finds it useful.

In this case I used my Instant Pot. I sauteed some onions, garlic and celery first, right in the pot. When that was done, I added some chopped carrots, my left over prime rib roast which had a bone attached, some organic beef bouillon and a frozen leftover bag of whatever from the freezer. The whatever was the juices and veggies left from a prior roast I make in a slow cooker. I do not waste anything. I had bagged up that goodness and put in a plastic ziploc bag (you could use a glass jar to freeze as well) and I froze it for an occasion like this. It was perfect. I threw the whole thing into the Instant Pot frozen … after taking it out of the bag of course hee hee.

Saving and freezing leftover veggies, rice, meats and odds and ends are perfect for soup! Never waste anything even if it is a tiny amount! Even mashed potatoes…they are perfect for thickening a soup like pea soup.

I also added a small tetra container of store bought soup that was a beef barley soup. I made sure it was a brand that was high quality and low sodium (sometimes you have to cheat for the sake of time and ease). I then added salt and pepper, of course.

I put the Instant Pot on to the Stew setting and let it cook. When it was done I took out the beef pieces and shredded them… so tender! I added it back in to the soup and then served my delicious and amazing soup. Hubby loved it!

Then I stored the leftovers in these jars. You can see how the grease rises to the top once the soup has been stored in the fridge. This is perfect. You can then skim it off and toss it. The fat is great because while cooking the soup it ‘carries the flavor‘. Fat is a carrier so it helps to meld and mold the soup’s flavor but once cooled, it’s collected and contained and can be tossed.

Now here I am the next day after making the Beef Soup, with my turkey carcass from Thanksgiving this past weekend here in Canada, in the Instant Pot with onions, celery, carrots and spices to cook down to my turkey soup broth. Note: if you don’t have an Instant Pot no worries use a regular pot and get it boiling with all of your ingredients in there and then let it simmer for a couple of hours. Strain the stock and keep any bits of goodness for your soup like the onions, turkey pieces etc.

Now you can use this to make a batch of soup with fresh veggies, the rest or your leftovers, maybe a little bag of rice from your freezer and anything else that you want to throw in. It’s SOUP!

People seem to be more open minded to adding in various ingredients when it comes to making a salad. Soup is no different. Have fun with cooking. Get creative. Be resourceful. It’s fun! I hope you found this helpful.