Saturday, January 16, 2021

Clean the Refrigerator Soup aka Garbage #SoupSwap #SoupSaturdaySwappers

 If there is anything more comforting than childhood memories, then it has to be childhood memories of the soup Mom used to make.  This warm, soothing memory of my childhood starts with whatever leftovers you have in the refrigerator.  It's not a recipe so much as a method.....

Clean the Refrigerator Soup

Welcome to National Soup Swap Day and Soup Saturday Swappers........
Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories is hosting Soup Saturday Swappers this month and invited us all to join her in sharing our favorite Childhood Soups.  

I am also joining Kate of Kate's Recipe Box for National Soup Swap Day.

What a fun way kick off the New Year.  Let's see what everyone is sharing today.......

National Soup Swap Day

Soup Saturday Swappers

assorted ingredients

We had soup at least once a week when I was growing up.  Each week my Mom would clean out the refrigerator in preparation of her weekly trip to the grocers.  All the leftovers went into a pot and dinner was served.  My parents called it garbage.  My father loved it.  I sometimes loved it, sometimes not, depending on the leftovers.

ground beef

So I went into my refrigerator and what did I find?   About 1/3 lb. ground beef, seasoned for taquito filling.  A poached chicken breast.  About a cup and a half of vegetable fried rice.  A quarter head of cabbage.  A bunch of parsley that had seen better days.  I also had some leftover pizza sauce but when I opened the container it had started to mold so into the trash it went.  All the rest was going into the garbage soup....I felt like a contestant on Chopped.

ground beef and chicken

I started out by browning the ground beef.  While it cooked, I cut the chicken into bite size pieces.  Once the burger was browned and crumbly, I add the chicken to the pot.

ground beef, chicken and vegetable fried rice in pot

Then I added the vegetable fried rice. All of these leftovers had been previously seasoned so I didn't add any seasonings as I cooked.  I added 4 cups of chicken stock to the pot.  Then I sliced up the cabbage and added that.  I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat, covered it and walked away for 15 minutes, until the cabbage was tender.

Clean the Refrigerator Soup pin

When it was finished I tasted to see if it needed any seasonings but it was deliciously perfect just as it was.  I think Frank loved this soup as much as my Pops always did.  Thanks Karen for bringing back happy food memories. Thanks Kate for allowing me to share this for National Soup Swap Day.

Soup, leftovers, one pot meals
Soup, Starting with Leftovers
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Clean the Refrigerator Soup

Clean the Refrigerator Soup

This warm, soothing memory of my childhood starts with whatever leftovers you have in the refrigerator. It's not a recipe so much as a method.....
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 1/3 lb. ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable fried rice
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/4 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, stemmed and chopped
  • salt and pepper, if needed


  1. In a large pot over med high heat, cook the burger until brown and crumbly.  Drain, if necessary.  Add the chicken, vegetable fried rice, broth, cabbage and parsley.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until cabbage is tender. 


This soup can be made with any leftover meat, any type of broth, any leftover vegetables, rice or pasta. Season to your liking if the leftovers have not been previously seasoned.



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  1. I love that way you turned all the leftovers into a delicious and protien packed soup!

  2. Hmmm...leftover rice in soup...might have to steal that idea. This soup looks seriously yummy Wendy...and a great way to get rid of those leftovers!

  3. We love our "kitchen sink" soups around here too and this one looks really tasty, Wendy. What a great idea to use leftover fried rice in a soup, so much added flavor just from that one ingredient!!

  4. I love reading about these memories! This soup sounds wonderful.

  5. I love recipes like this! I always feel like a contestant on chopped on fridge purge days too! :D This sounds cozy, and I love anything that takes you back to a happy moment from childhood. Food memories are precious like that.

  6. I've never thought of combining chicken and ground beef. I will try this! Hope your life is getting back to normal soon

  7. Leftover soup is a great spot to land the leftover rice of any type. And I love a good recipe that frugally uses up extra vegetables.

  8. Loved the idea of converting to soup! This reminds of my mom adding all the leftover curries, veggies and rice to make a meal which we love so much than the freshly made Memories are great!


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