Clean Out the Fridge Soup

We moved again. This time to Pristina, Kosovo! This makes four moves in four years, which means I’ve gotten pretty good at cleaning out the freezer/pantry of items that we can’t bring with us when it comes time to move.

The last three weeks before our move, I pretty much ate this soup non-stop. I didn’t go to the grocery store for anything (well…except for wine and chocolate, of course!). I hate wasting food. And this recipe works perfectly with this month’s Recipe Redux Theme.

March Recipe ReDux Theme-Spring Clean the Kitchen

Cook with at least 3 ingredients that are actually in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new. Give tips on how to make a healthy dish out of whatever you have on-hand.

This Clean Out the Fridge Soup is very flexible and forgiving. You can alter it to meet whatever you have at home, and to your own tastes. Every ingredient you see listed below is basically optional and it is easy to swap out one vegetable for another or eliminate an ingredient altogether.

Clean Out the Fridge Soup
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Easy soup that you can probably make with what you already have in your kitchen. Highly flexible and adaptable to what you have on hand.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: varies

  • Chicken carcass/bones (if you don't have this, you can use stock, or even just water with some extra spices if you wish)
  • A type of grain, such as rice, wheat berries, bulgar, or pasta. If it is something that takes a long time to cook (like wheat berries), cook them first and then add to the soup closer to the end.
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables, or any combination of. (Ex. Fresh broccoli/frozen peas/frozen carrots, etc), diced
  • Leftover chicken if you have it
  • A hot pepper or two
  • Thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • A dollop of plain greek yogurt (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)

  1. Put the chicken carcass/bones into a large pot and fill about ¾ way with water. If you are using pre-made chicken stock, skip this step.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Add salt and herbs if you wish. Simmer about 30 minutes. Remove bones and discard.
  3. Add grains. I generally use about a cup or so, depending on how thick I want it. Simmer about 10 minutes. If you are using pasta or pre-cooked grains, skip this step and add at the same time as veggies.
  4. Add vegetables. Simmer another 15 or so minutes until veggies and grains are tender. Add minced chili pepper if using. If you are using leftover chicken, shred it and add it here as well.
  5. Add more salt/pepper to taste.
  6. Serve in bowls. Add a generous scoop of greek yogurt and some diced avocado if you wish.

*If using a grain that takes a long time to cook, such as wheat berries, cook them beforehand and add to the soup closer to the end.

**If using pasta, add closer to the end so it doesn't get mushy.


What are your ways to “spring clean the kitchen”? Leave your tips and tricks below.


Let me know what you think...