Nadiya Hussain Says Anything Can Be An Ingredient: Here's Her Recipe For "Scrap Soup"

Chef & author By Nadiya Hussain
Chef & author
After winning the The Great British Baking Show in 2015, Nadiya Hussain went on to host several cooking shows on the BBC including Nadiya's Time To Eat, Nadiya's British Food Adventure and Nadiya’s Family Favourites. She wrote Time to Eat as the cookbook companion to her Netflix series by the same name.
Vegetable scraps for soup
Since winning The Great British Baking Show in 2015, Nadiya Hussain has hosted several cooking shows, including her Netflix series Time To Eat—for which she wrote an accompanying cookbook by the same name. Full of recipes for the busy family cook, it includes gems like this "scrap soup," which will save you money and divert food waste from the trash or compost.

I have a few rules I always tell myself:

  1. Don't throw anything away: As long as it's not poisonous, you can probably do something with it.
  2. Canned, frozen, and dry are not bad words: They save time and money. They keep for a long time and save on waste.
  3. The freezer is my friend: I always have one drawer totally empty; having just that little bit of space means you have room to think on your feet.
  4. Every dish is two dishes: I always make a little bit more than I need in the hope of turning one meal into two, without having to cook it twice.
  5. Everything is an ingredient: You can make something out of anything.
  6. The microwave can save: It saves time and saves on the gas bill. It's quick and really very handy.

I have been saving scraps for as long as I can remember. I started when I began weaning my second little boy. I needed to save money, and we had to find ways to waste less, eat comfortably, and not be totally short at the end of the month.

It seemed mindless to throw away these beautiful peelings, the most nutritious and delicious part of most root veg, full of flavor and full of fiber, and it helped my conscience as well as my wallet.

The scraps developed from baby foods to peelings I would deep-fry for soup. This recipe varies and changes, but each time we end up with a hearty, healthy soup that could have otherwise ended up in the compost.

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Spicy Scrap Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1½ lb. frozen scraps (potato peel, parsnip peel, carrot peel, broccoli/cauliflower stalks, you get the idea)
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 lemons, juice and finely grated zest
  • ¼ cup dried cilantro (that’s a whole jar)
  • 2 quarts of vegetable stock
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Greek yogurt
  • Fresh chives

Method

  1. Tip out the frozen peelings into a large stockpot.
  2. Add the chili flakes, onion and granulated garlic, the salt, lemon zest and juice, and dried cilantro.
  3. Add the stock and rip slices of the bread into the pot. The bread is what gives it a lovely creamy texture.
  4. Pop the pot on high heat, and bring everything to a rapid boil. As soon as it has boiled, lower the heat and keep on medium heat. With the lid on, allow it to cook for at least 1 to 2 hours till everything in the pan is soft and falling apart. By this point it should start to look less like peelings.
  5. Take it off the heat and blitz using an immersion blender till you have a smooth soup. If you're eating this or making it for the family, pat yourself on the back for making soup—hot, delicious, and nutritious—out of peelings, food waste, potential compost. A wholesome meal. If you're serving this to friends, ask them what they think went into it. I reckon they won't be able to guess!
  6. To serve, add a dollop of Greek yogurt and a small sprinkling of freshly scissored chives.
  7. Once cooled, it can be portioned and frozen.

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