Waste Not Want Not

Sometimes, when you find yourself doing something you might not have anticipated, at a time that isn’t the most convenient, it can be useful to think back to the moment you made the decision that set you on that particular course, assuming you can identify it.

So why was I making carrot and sundry bits and pieces soup in a hurry on the morning when I should have been packing to go away for Easter?

I could point to the training I had as a child that things shouldn’t be wasted, that you should eat everything on your plate, and that vegetables are good for you.  But that would only account for the fact that I had carrots in the house; I was putting all the other things that were in the fridge in a bag to take north with me, as for at least part of the time away I would be self catering at Cove Park.

So we need to look at all those factors, but add to them my mother’s frequent comments about how poorly I store the vegetables I have.  Of course they’ll go sprouty and a bit mouldy if I keep them like that.  If I didn’t have those words ringing in my ears, and the fact that I would be spending a couple of days with my parents en route to Cove, I would just have put the slightly past their best vegetables in the bag and taken them with me.

So there I was, a nearly full bag of slightly sweaty carrots (which must have cost me the better part of £1); couldn’t throw them away; couldn’t take them with me. And I definitely didn’t want to leave them festering in the fridge to be thrown away after a further 10 days of maturation.  The only solution was to cook them – with the few other bits and pieces I had to hand: a couple of onions, a red chilli that was beginning to be a bit wrinkled, a tin of tomatoes and a handful of red lentils.

So instead of packing my suitcase and getting my files organised for my time away, the key item on the critical path for going away preparation became peeling carrots, so the concoction could cook while I did all the other pre trip tasks.

I’d normally whizz this sort of thing into a smooth soup with a hand blender, but the plastic on the business end tends to soften and bend in high temperatures, so it’s had to go into the freezer in its chunky straight from the pan form.  It seemed to taste all right, and now I know what I’ll be eating when I get home after the end of my trip.

In A Hurry Carrot, Lentil and Chilli Chowder

7/8ths of a bag of week old carrots

3small potatoes

1 red chilli, kept in fridge for at least 3 weeks

3 onions, not fresh

1 tin of tomatoes, any age

Two tinfulls of tap water, freshly drawn

Cup full of lentils from store cupboard

Time taken – Preparation: 20 minutes, should only be attempted when in a rush to do something else.  Cooking: 40 mintes.

Chop everything up, put it in a pan and boil.

Serve after a long journey.

Soy sauce not essential

Leave a comment


  1. margaret

     /  April 10, 2012

    Being thrifty and frugal can sometimes be a bit of a chore…… but it looks so good !


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