What’s for dinner? What’s in the fridge

I was out of leftovers. No time to go to the store. No desire for takeout. So I stuck my head in the refrigerator to see what was there.

Sweet potatoes – well, one of the three I found was still good. Some fresh ginger from making a sample recipe. At the bottom of the crisper, gold: An entire bag of carrots. And there was still some homemade chicken stock in the freezer.

A well-stocked herb/spice pantry helps considerably with this kind of improvisational cooking. A jar of dried lemon peel and some ground cardamom emerged from mine, which is actually in a drawer. Yes, I alphabetize my seasoning drawer. So there.

What emerged from all this was soup. I gently cooked half of a large onion in olive oil until it was almost soft, then tossed in about a teaspoon each of cardamom and the lemon peel. Cooked that for a few minutes, then added 1-inch chunks of the peeled sweet potato and about four of the carrots, about two teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger, about 3 cups of chicken stock and a little salt. I think I threw in a little more cardamom, too. I brought it all to a boil, covered the pot, and simmered about 30 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots were soft. I got out my favorite kitchen power tool – the immersion (or hand) blender – and pureed it all.

Pretty darn good for “fridge soup.”

SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION:  I’ll be on the My Carolina Today show on NBC-17 in Raleigh on Monday, Jan. 30, talking about that classic Super Bowl snack, wings. The hour-long show starts at 11 a.m., but I’m not sure when I’ll be on.

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