How to Make Garbage Soup and Eat Well All Week
One of my favorite recent cookbooks has been Decolonize Your Diet. Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel offer a cuisine based on pre-Conquest foods, mostly vegan and vegetarian. Even if you don't care about the concept, there is a lot of good food to consider. But why not think about how great the Mexica diet was in 1491? The foundation was beans, chiles and corn. Occasionally there was deer, rabbit or fish. Delicious greens were foraged. I always say, who civilized who? In the book, they have a corn cob stock. It's naturally sweet and delicious. It got me thinking about other things to add to a vegetable stock. Why not onion tops, carrot tops, or garlic skins? All the things that normally get thrown into the compost might be better served as broth ingredient. I started saving everything in a bag in my fridge and for the last few Sundays, I've been making this stock and using it throughout the week when I needed a flavorful liquid. I've also made what I call garbage soup. I use the stock along with any beans I have leftover. Lots of bean liquid? No problem. It's another component. I like to blend tomatoes and some of our Oregano Indio and all together I have a killer soup. I've been growing lambsquarters in our parking lot here at Rancho Gordo and a handful chopped up and added to this mess is perfect. So the recipe is: onion and garlic sauteed in olive oil, tomatoes and Oregano Indio added. Then beans. Then the broth. Then a handful of chopped lambsquarters. Finally, enough vegetable broth to make a nice soup. Sometimes I don't need much, depending on how much bean broth is around. You could puree it all and make a smooth soup but I like the texture as is.