Ever heard of kitchen sink soup? Where you put whatever you have (but the kitchen sink) in a pot and turn it into an edible and hopefully delicious soup? Well, I have no real proof to back me up on this besides my husband’s feedback and my own ego, but I’m going to go ahead and declare myself the Queen of the Healthy Kitchen Sink Soup. I like to think it’s a skill.
Here’s last week’s kitchen sink soup (I probably make some version of kitchen sink soup every other week just to finish off what’s left in the fridge with minimal effort). I like to call it Spiced Mixed Bean, Kamut, Chicken and Kale Soup with Goat Cheese. You know, cause that just rolls off the tongue.
How to Make Kitchen Sink Soup
Like any healthy kitchen sink soup recipe, it’s pretty easy to make. First, round up random ingredients you have in your pantry and fridge that might go well together. (Remember, experimentation is the most fun part of kitchen sink soup!) Here’s what I started with:
In general, I find that having a whole grain and/or beans with veggies is pretty much all it takes. In this case though, I got super nutty and added two red potatoes we had just waiting to go bad and some ground chicken to the kitchen-sink-soup party. So after I sauteed my garlic and onions (the base of any good soup) and peppers, I got the pot a-mixing, moving and grooving.
Then, once all slightly cooked with a little olive oil, I added in the fresh tomatoes, dried beans and kamut. Now it’s really looking like a party.
After adding a decent amount of broth and the tomato paste to cover all the goodies inside, I asked myself, “Self, what does this kitchen sink soup need that we have?” And the answer: Kale! (Nine times out of 10 this is the answer I arrive at.)
So after adding about half of the bag of kale plus cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and a dash of crushed red pepper, I got this:
After bringing it to a boil and letting it simmer for 90 minutes, I had tender kamut (it’s a whole grain that takes a bit to cook) and beans, and a dang healthy soup with lots of veggies, fiber and protein. I topped it with a little goat cheese (you could add a splash of hot sauce if you like things more spicy), and bam! Dinner for the week.
The true joy of the kitchen sink soup recipe is that anything goes. As long as things are properly cooked and seasoned, you can mix darn near anything together. While I’d say garlic and onions are a must to start the soup and you do need some sort of liquid to cook it in (low-sodium chicken broth is my go-to, although water can work), the rest is pretty much up to you and what foods are hanging out in your kitchen.
I’ve never made kitchen sink soup the same way twice. I like to challenge myself to add new ingredients — whether it’s a little wine that was left over from dinner the night before, a new soy chorizo I picked up at Trader Joe’s or a spice in my pantry that rarely gets used, like 5-Spice Powder. And, I try to pack as much nutrition as I can in every bite — while still making it taste good (my husband and I may have slightly different takes on how often I achieve this goal as I have had a couple too-creative results).
Do you make any dish “kitchen sink” style? What was your biggest success? I’m sure I’m not the only one … —Jenn