Skip The Can And Make Simple Soup With A Few Leftovers And Your Microwave

If you're a chronic accumulator of leftovers, repurposing them into soup is a creative and comforting avenue for a lazy weeknight meal — and the results are sure to taste far more delicious and satisfying than that canned soup you've forgotten about at the back of your pantry. Plus, by using leftovers, you start with a bowl full of ingredients that come prepared, pre-seasoned, and pre-cooked. Together they culminate in the perfect single-serving of soup. The only thing you need to do is cover them with broth and nuke them in the microwave. Oftentimes, you can even use the to-go container you brought them home in!

You'll still need to build the soup by microwaving ingredients in increments. Heftier foods like leftover meat and noodles take longer to reheat, so place them in a microwave-safe bowl first and cover them with water or broth. After around four or five minutes on high heat, hit pause and add your lighter veggies to the bowl. Then nuke everything for a few more minutes until it's all heated through. You can get as creative as you'd like with additional seasonings and clever soup garnishes for a dazzling finishing touch.

Ideas for leftover soups

An obvious place to start is turning leftover noodles, veggies, and proteins into a microwavable ramen feast. Put an Asiatic twist on simply seasoned mixed veggies, beef or chicken, and noodles by stirring some miso paste into the broth before nuking. If you don't have broth, add a bouillon cube and soy sauce to water to create a simple yet tasty soup base.

Even if you don't have precooked noodles, you can cook dry pasta in the microwave without changing any steps to your leftover microwave soup preparations. Simply add a few cups of water to uncooked pasta and nuke it in the microwave for around five minutes. Then you can take the pasta out, add more broth or water to the bowl, and pile on the rest of your leftovers before placing it back in the microwave for another five to eight minutes.

If you don't have noodles, leftover roasted root vegetables like potatoes, yams, parsnips, and butternut squash would all provide a comforting carbohydrate pairing for leftover meat and veggies. You could also add a mixture of broth and cream or whole milk to leftover mashed potatoes for a creamy comforting potato soup that can be garnished with shredded cheddar cheese, scallions, and a dollop of sour cream. For a Mexican-inspired soup, add beef broth and your favorite salsa to leftover brisket for an easy twist on birria, then garnish with cilantro, chopped onions, and lime, and serve alongside tortilla chips or quesadillas.