RECIPE: Bottom of the fridge soup

Despite its odd name, this soup is surprisingly delicious and can be coarse or blitzed to be creamy. Just about anything that is past its best – but not really ‘manky’ – can be used. Any vegetables or leftover meat or soup bones can be made into a stock first which will make this soup even more delicious.

At Cookery School we teach to empower so that everyone has the confidence to replicate recipes again and again at home. We also teach by principle – if you can understand how to make this versatile soup, you can make a whole range of different soups using the same principle.

• Try and cut all veg to more or less the same size and shape so that they cook as evenly as

• Starting by frying onions, leeks, spring onions or garlic (very lightly), provides more flavour so we would always suggest starting by doing this.

• The addition of herbs, particularly parsley, also adds flavour and colour.

• Once the soup has been cooked, to make a real meal of it, a tin of baked beans of any other
tinned pulse (or leftover rice) can be use.

• A tin of chopped tomatoes helps in adding colour and flavour to the soup.

• We would suggest a good slug of olive oil to fry onions, leeks, spring onions or garlic. This also enriches the soup and, again, adds additional flavour.

• There is no right or wrong to this soup. You will be surprised once you make your first batch how versatile it is and how easy it is to modify, using ingredients that you find of choice.


1. If possible fry onion and/or leeks and/or spring onions in a few good slugs of olive oil until golden brown. Then add some garlic if possible and fry too until just transparent.

2. Add any root veg that are getting used and fry gently for a minute or two.

3. Add either water or meat and/or chicken stock or veg stock and bottom of the fridge veg. Hold the soft green veg eg lettuce back to add lastly.

4. Add the remainder of the green vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

5. Continue to cook until the vegetables are just al dente.

6. If you want a chunky soup, eat as it is. If a smoother soup is required, then use a hand blitzer or food processor until desired texture is achieved.

7. Hand around a bowl of grated Parmesan cheese or serve with pesto/pistou which makes the soup extra green and even more delicious.