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I came up with this soup by polling my friends and neighbours to see what they had sitting in their fridges. The whole point is that veggies no longer in their prime are still perfect for a hearty vegetable soup. Here, the culinary colour wheel came up with orange (carrots and sweet potato), tan (parsnip) and green (kale, although you could use silverbeet or spinach). Throw in a tin of tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste from the pantry, along with some quinoa and spices, and you have a scrumptious soup.

Clean-out-the-fridge soup

Serves 6
3 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil
1 brown onion, diced 
sea salt
2 carrots, peeled and diced 
2 stalks celery, diced 
2 parsnips, peeled and diced 
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 5 mm cubes 
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon chilli flakes
1.5 litres bone broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
400g tin diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
200 g cooked quinoa
1 small bunch kale, silverbeet or spinach, leaves stripped and chopped into bite-size pieces

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, parsnips, sweet potato and ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté until all of the vegetables are tender and turning deep golden brown, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then stir in the thyme, oregano, chilli flakes and ½ teaspoon salt.

Pour in 125 ml of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, bay leaf and the remaining broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and kale and cook for 3 minutes, or until the kale is just tender.

Taste; you may want to add another generous pinch of salt. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Image and recipe reproduced with kind permission from Clean Soups by Rebecca Katz (Murdoch Books RRP $35.00)