The doldrums drag on. Work has been busy, the weather in New England has been damp and grey, and I’ve been struggling with a nasty bug that kept me home and in bed on Thursday under a pile of blankets and slumbering kitties. I made it to work on Friday, hacking and coughing through the day, and when I came home all I could think about was soup. Small problem: we were fresh out of stock, and I absolutely didn’t have it in me to make more. I could have made that old standby Potage Parmentier, but we were also out of potatoes, so I took a page from my dear Grandma’s playbook and made a version of a little thing we like to call “Garbage Soup.” It’s a clean-out-the-fridge-freezer-and-cupboards kind of soup, endlessly adaptable, and better than it has any right to be.
This batch was built on the last three links of Hill Farm sweet Italian sausage I had in the fridge, crumbled and cooked until deeply browned, then lots of onion, carrot, celery, garlic, a can of San Marzanos with their juice, a parmesan rind, and plenty of thyme and parsley. I added some cooked red beans to the mix, as well as corn, peas, and green beans from the freezer, and several big handfuls of torn kale. With a hunk of bread from Olga’s and some sea salted butter, this soup made for a humble but totally satisfying meal.