This delicious leftover salad soup is the perfect answer when wondering what to do when you have too much dressed salad. It’s quick and easy to make, tastes great and cuts food waste too.
A salad bowl of wilting dressed leaves that’s been left for too long is a depressing sight to people who believe in enjoying simple food from quality ingredients. The limp and wilted remains look fit only for the compost heap or rubbish bin, but actually you needn’t waste it; rather, use it to make this tasty leftover salad soup.
The idea of cooking with lettuce and other salad leaves might sound a bit odd to our ears, but of course the French have been serving cooked or warm lettuce for ages; not only in a salade tiede/warm salad but also dishes like braised or seared lettuce. I am a convert to cooking with lettuce; try my recipes for braised iceberg lettuce or leftover lettuce lentil salad.
Unlike those two recipes, however, this one uses salad that’s already been dressed, but hasn’t been eaten so is looking a little tired. It works equally well with plain leaves or including things like cucumber and tomatoes. You can also use those fridge-bottom salad vegetables that are looking a little past their best – wilted lettuce, wrinkly tomato or that slightly soggy cucumber. Of course, there are limits here: don’t use anything that’s really too far gone.
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so easy to make, taking about 15 minutes in total. Just add the salad to some oil in a saucepan, fry it off for a few minutes then add vegetable stock. Cover, and let it gently simmer for about 10 minutes, and it’s ready to blitz with a stick blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender) and blend until smooth. Another bonus is that this soup also freezes very well.
Add some salt and pepper at the end to taste, or how about some soy sauce for a hint of umami? We garnished our soups with some sliced radishes for a hint of heat and some crunch, contrasting with a little cool shredded parsley. To make this a little more special add a glug of white wine, or a swirl of cream.
So the next time you are over enthusiastic with the quantity of salad pop the remains back into the fridge and make this for the next meal. It is also low in calories, making it ideal for anyone following the 5:2 or intermittent fasting diet, which also has amazing health benefits. My friend Jac has an excellent guide to the 5:2 diet which is worth a read, especially for vegetarians.
Make this recipe Slimming World Syn Free by sautéing your leftover salad in Fry Light, rather than the olive oil.
Ingredients you can use in Leftover Salad Soup
- Any leftover salad – dressed or not
- Any salad leaves that can be past their best – rocket, all types of lettuce, bagged mixed salad, spinach etc
- Lettuce stalks (cut them up first)
- Tomatoes – wrinkled, soft ones are fine
- Spring Onions
- Fresh or frozen leafy herbs and their stalks
- Carrot tops
- A slice or two of beetroot – pickled or cooked – this will dramatically change the colour of the soup
- Green beans
Leftover salad soup is quick, easy, delicious and the perfect way of using up too much dressed salad. There's a double benefit as it cuts down on food waste, too.
Use fry light instead of olive oil to make this Slimming World Syn Free
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 servings leftover, dressed salad
- 300 ml vegetable stock from cube
- 1 Radish or other suitable vegetable
- 2 stalks parsley
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, and add the salad. Fry for a few minutes.
Add the stock, put on the lid and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper
Garnish with sliced radish and shredded parsley.
Why not try stirring in some soy sauce for extra flavour just before serving? If you plan on doing this, adjust your seasoning accordingly.
To make this a little more special stir in a glug of white wine or stir through some cream just before serving.