The first weeks of the year are about to finally overtake Lent as the high season of renunciation. The meal plan after the lavish holiday season should always be low calorie and modest. For several years, January also had to be as low in alcohol as possible (“Dry” or “Sober January”) and more recently also without meat, the “Veganuary” campaign, which an NGO invented four years ago to encourage people to be more sustainable, Animal nutrition and climate friendly are becoming more and more popular in the world.
More restaurants and businesses are participating than ever before. Unfortunately, most find that promoting a few chorizo-flavored seitan sticks is enough. But marketing, ideological drumming and convenience products never lead to better cooking. On the other hand, it is always hidden that sustainable management is also associated with effort. Cooking yourself is good, but completely rethinking the kitchen is even better.
Two-star Franconian chef Felix Schneider, known for his sustainable way of working, shows what this could look like. He may have had a more sophisticated system for using up leftovers for a long time, but in the early years he always had a huge pot on the fire, in which it was gently simmering and in which (almost) all that was left of it vegetable cleaning, for example, is automatically entered there. This creates a wonderful and useful fund.
A particularly handy recipe comes from British chef Nadiya Hussain
The example shows that the term kitchen waste actually belongs to the index. Years ago, Copenhagen’s top restaurant, “Noma”, hired a biochemist from UC Berkeley to ferment leftover vegetables into smoothies. And the Swiss food journalist Esther Kern, with her holistic “Leaf to root” approach, has founded a real movement of home cooks who only use the whole fruit. The number of projects that prove that something can still be made from almost anything has long since become baffling. Unfortunately, this does not mean that all the wonderful options for using leftovers are implemented in everyday life. They often fail due to scheduling and time budgets. Who maintains an eternal flame at home with a bubbling pot in which a few carrot peelings or a stalk of broccoli can be wisely thrown at any time?
But now there are recipes that give even the laziest of us excuses. One particularly handy and clever recipe comes from British chef Nadiya Hussain, who works with frozen chunks and peelings of vegetables for her “hearty leftover soup” (“It’s time to eat. Quick and easy recipes for a relaxed life”, Ars Vivendi). These build up gradually as you clean the vegetables, with a little extra effort of washing potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery, leeks or even beets a little more thoroughly than usual and remove any unsightly stains. Peels, leeks or stems are coarsely chopped and frozen tightly.
If you’ve picked up enough, there’s a vegetable soup that matches January like no other. For all the reminders and marketing fans: This recipe is not only low-calorie, alcohol-free, local, vegan, and climate-friendly, but also inclusive, diverse, and feminist. Basically friendly Nadiya Hussain’s family comes from Bangladesh. But the fact that the daughter of Muslim migrants takes part in a BBC baking show and wins, is then inundated with TV offers and book deals and is allowed to bake the much-admired cake for the Queen’s 90th birthday – unfortunately these are stories that so far have only been unique to Britain Cooking TV has told. These are stories that – speaking of rethinking – should be a little more mainstream in the future.
Boil the bread to make it creamy
For the sake of simplicity, Nadiya Hussain uses 3 tbsp of onion and 2 tbsp of garlic granules for her soup, i.e. freeze-dried products, which she combines with 700g of chunks of frozen vegetables, about 2 teaspoons of salt (measure to taste, additional salt is always possible), abrasion and the juice of Put 2 organic lemons, 1 tablespoon of chili flakes and 7 g of dried coriander in a large saucepan and pour 2 l of vegetable stock over it (vegetable stock by the glass is more expensive and better, but granulated stock works too, so salt more carefully). Finally, a slice of torn bread is added, which cooks with it and gives the soup a certain creaminess at the end. Simmer gently for about 90-120 minutes, puree smooth with a hand blender, season to taste and serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream (oatmeal yogurt would be vegan) and chives (parsley , coriander and or roasted seeds also work, of course). Certainly, this soup is rather intended for a more rustic palate. But it’s good – depending on the vegetables a little different each time. It is beneficial. And it freezes well.
A refinement is of course always possible. For example, using more vegetables or starting to sort and coordinate leftovers by type. Or because you take the trouble to replace the granules with 2 finely diced onions and 4 cloves of garlic, which are sautéed in a little olive oil and briefly deglazed with a dash of mild vinegar or vermouth . Difficult to start easier this year.