My friend Jane and I jokingly call ourselves the Leftover Queens because we specialise in magicking up meals from leftovers. Being British, our speciality is Bubble & Squeak, of course.
Why is it that leftovers always taste nicer than the original? My fondest memory (and favourite food) is my father’s leftover turkey soup that we would eat for days after Christmas. I don’t know what the secret ingredients are, but the soup is simply out of the world. When I asked my dad for the recipe (which I do almost every year, deviously sometimes), he won’t tell me. “You have to come back to my house for my soup,” he would say with a twinkle in his eye. “That’s my insurance.”
Nothing I make could ever taste as good as my daddy’s turkey soup made from leftovers – and expensive wine, no doubt.
Though I love my leftover cuisine. Not only does it save money, it saves a lot of time, too: whenever I am cooking something, I would put the ‘inedible’ bits in a container, to be boiled up into a soup by either adding some beef bones or chicken carcass. Sometimes, I would just boil up the vegetables for a clear consommé. These were the end bits that our rabbits used to eat in the days we had eleven rabbits, but now, it ended up in a healthy soup (the veggies, not the rabbits):
From this humble bits, you could make either a simple rice and grain porridge or a healthy alternative to instant noodles. The recipe for the instant noodles is here.
So when you are preparing food next, don’t throw bits away – either bag them up for future use (freeze it) or chuck them into the pot to boil up.
One of the best kitchen tips I give folks is always have home-made stocks handy in the fridge. Because they are soooo easy to make, and they are the foundation of such delicious, simple, healthy dishes. Look differently at a carrot stub the next time round.