Sausage and Spinach Soup
This rich and flavorful Sausage and Spinach Soup recipe is a great way to create a healthy meal using leftover ingredients in your fridge and pantry.
Sometimes when I’m making dinner, I feel like a contestant on Chopped. Except instead of a mystery basket, I have a fridge containing a hodgepodge of ingredients. The goal is to figure out how to combine the ingredients into a passable dinner dish.
Over the last year I’ve gotten really good at being able to pull together a meal from a mis-match of ingredients. I credit my obsession with cooking shows and having a strict grocery budget each week for my minimal-ingredient-meal-making ability.
In an effort to cut back on food waste and save money each week, I include “leftovers” in our meal plan for lunch and dinner at the end of every week. I meal plan on a weekly basis and have found that during the week there is always something that pop up, causing us to change our dinner plans. This means we either have an entire meal’s worth of ingredients in the fridge that we never cooked or we have actual leftovers from a previous night’s dinner. Either way, I try to use up these items the last day of each meal plan week.
This month, The Recipe Redux members were challenged to “Spring Clean the Kitchen” and take actual ingredients in your fridge and create a meal without buying any additional ingredients. My kinda challenge!
A perfect example was last night’s actual dinner. I opened up the near-empty fridge (tomorrow is grocery shopping day) and found some leftover chicken sausage, 1/2 bag of spinach, and some mushrooms that were on the verge of getting tossed. Combined with some chicken stock, garlic and dried herbs, I was able to create this delicious Sausage and Spinach Soup.
Tips for Creating Healthy Meals with Leftover Ingredients
- Keep pantry items like chicken stock, whole grains, dried herbs, and canned beans stocked at all times for last minute meal additions
- Soups, stir frys and omelets are great ways to use up leftover vegetables and create healthy, filling meals
- Hard boiled eggs or canned beans are economical ways to add protein to meals when you don’t have any meat or poultry on hand
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 3 links Chicken Sausage (fully cooked), chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 quart (32 ounces) low-sodium chicken stock
- 12-14 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat
- Add garlic and mushrooms, and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes, Then add chicken sausage and allow to brown for 3 minutes
- Add dried herbs and chicken stock
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer
- Cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add spinach and allow to simmer for additional 5 minutes
- Season with salt and pepper