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Left-over management and Chunky soup

January 3, 2010

in Beef, Recipes, Reinventing leftovers, Soup

No, I do not mean myself, even though left-over describes me pretty well now, 2 weeks into daycare-time-off. I have been alone at home with one very energetic, destructive, brilliant, zero attention span 2-year-old Tasmanian devil (little girl)  plus a don’t-you-dare-put-me-down-or-I -will-start-hollaring adorable 4 months old. Not an easy combo. In fact, who am I kidding. I was clawing at the walls.

 Let’s just say that cooking was the least of my worries. Between protecting our home from utter destruction and breast-feeding every 2 minutes, I still had to come up with something for supper every day. A woman needs her strength and sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich just wont do. My husband requested (and got) spaghetti sauce. Only the pack of meat he dug out of the freezer was almost as big as the baby. There is so much spaghetti a person can eat ( my husband and daughter will no doubt disagree). So, faced with the “what’s for dinner” challenge I eyed our nearly empty fridge and spotted the leftover spaghetti sauce. Since it was a cold day, soup was the way to go. We call it chunky soup. It is one of my husband’s all time favorites. You will love it too.

 Chunky soup


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
2-3 carrots
2-3 celery stalks
2 medium potatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of beans (whichever you have on hand), drained and rinsed
1.5 to 2 cups leftover spaghetti (meat) sauce
8 cups water
1 (156 ml) tomato paste, if you like your soup thick and “tomatoey”
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup macaroni (or any other small pasta variety)
1/2 cup chopped parsley


1. peel and chop your vegetables into small cubes.

2. In your soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, carrots and celery until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Add potato cubes and garlic, mix until the garlic begins to smell wonderful, then add your drained beans, spaghetti sauce, water and spices. Mix well.

4. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for about 25 minutes, until the vegetables are fork tender

5. Add pasta and cook on low for 10 additional minutes, until the pasta softens up. Add chopped parsley.

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