Monday, January 6, 2014

Leftovers from New Year's Day? Try this.

I usually have leftovers after New Year's Day and I throw them out a few days later. Every year I think I should do something with the leftovers so they don't go to waste. I really didn't make this a resolution, but I am taking action.

I decided I would come up with my version of New Year's Day Leftover Soup. I hated to use the word leftover in the title because I know that it would immediately turn some of you off, but really, don't you think leftovers deserve a special place in the history of cookery? Maybe even an honored place. There are so many recipes that start out with leftovers. Think croutons, bread pudding and vegetable soup. That is why I have decided to embrace the word and think of it as a good, or even great thing.

Here is my first recipe of the year, using leftovers and I dedicate this to all the cooks who used leftovers to make something new and tasty. My husband really liked it, too.

New Year's Day (Leftover) Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
5 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetarian better than bouillon (or 2 to 3 bouillon cubes)
5 cups leftover collards
4 cups leftover black-eyed peas
1 pound ham, cut into cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce (Like Texas Pete or Tabasco) to taste

In a large pot add 1 tablespoon and sauté the onion, garlic, celery and carrots until they are soft and the onions are clear. Add water and bouillon mix and stir. Heat through and add the collards, peas and ham. Salt and pepper and add hot sauce until it is perfect.

I actually didn't have to add any salt at all to mine since the leftovers were already salted.

Serve this with leftover cornbread and you will have a very nice and healthy soup for the new year. You can easily make this from scratch but it will take longer and fresh collards are an exceptional dish!

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