Last week I found out about the Zero Waste Home; with the tag line “Refuse, Refuse, Refuse. Then reduce, reuse, recycle (and only in that order).” After putting her family on a 12 month “waste diet” Bea began blogging about her process about six months ago, including “analyzing whatever comes in contact with the bottom of our one home trash can.” Her family is far ahead of us, but it’s great to have people like Bea share their accomplishments so we can have more goals to aspire to!
This weekend, I did one of my favorite things for reducing waste, which comes from a childhood game I used to play with my sister and our neighbor. We would go into the kitchen, pick out a bunch of random ingredients that didn’t seem to go with anything and make up a “recipe” with them. Then we would try to get each other to eat it. Back then, my goal was to make something that would gross the others out. Now, when I play this game, it’s to try and salvage ingredients that won’t last much longer and, hopefully, to come up with a few new recipes we love.
What I had this time was the stock I made from the chicken bones of a meal a couple days before, some fresh spinach that had gone a little too soft for salad and some navy beans that I had already soaked when I over-estimated how many I would need for another dish. It always feels great when we can eat something new instead of wasting food. From these ingredients, I came up with a soup we both really enjoyed. It had nice texture and a great kick to help clear out any of those lingering spring allergies. Here it is:
Bulgar & Spinach Soup with a Kick
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup bulgar wheat
- 2 cups navy beans (dried beans should be soaked overnight first)
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- black pepper, to taste
Add chicken stock, salt, bulgar and beans to a 2 quart sauce pan and slowly bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, steam spinach and sautee the onions. Once the bulgar has softened, layer the spinach on the bottom of a low soup bowl, followed by the onions. Top with the soup and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.
Note: We had extra soup but no more spinach, and today I ate the rest of the soup with some fresh cilantro from the herb garden, which also tasted great.