Everyone is hungry, we forgot to shop, and of course the fridge is almost bare. This awesome accidental soup—it’s thick, more like stew, and full-flavored—surprised even the cook when it was ready. From the fridge came 4 carrots, 3 sausages, 2 potatoes, 1 carton of chicken broth, some leftover marinara sauce and a takeout box of rice. With a little oil, garlic, and dried herbs, we were enjoying a fantastic supper 30 minutes later. The best thing about this concept is it can be made with pretty much any veggies and protein you have around. These particular ingredients, though, evoked southern France's legendary Provencal region, and so we chose oregano, basil, thyme and garlic, along with fennel if you have it, for a consistent flavor profile.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Slice the sausages into 1/4-inch rounds. Heat the oil in a medium-size pot (enamel or cast iron if you have one), until it shimmers, and add the sausages. Cook until the meat is slightly colored, about 3 minutes.
- Then add all the other ingredients to the pot (including half the fresh parsley) along with salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are done (easily pierced by a fork) and the soup is nicely thickened, about 20 minutes. If it’s too thick, add a little extra water as it cooks. The soup also benefits from “resting”—sitting off the heat for 5-10 minutes before serving, but this isn't necessary.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the remaining parsley now, or the juice of half a lemon and soup's on!
Note: If you have leftover pre-cooked rice, you may substitute a cup of that instead of 1/3 cup uncooked rice, and omit the extra 2/3 cup of water.