Right now, the lunch of my dreams sits nestled 850 miles away in an Arizona refrigerator. It’s what’s left of the yummy, golden butternut squash bisque Al’s great-niece Amber made for last weekend’s family gatherings.

I love leftovers.  

Because whatever they are, they can—almost always—be savored alone or spun into in fresh menu equation for zippo cost.

It’s first-year algebra in a bowl.

Constants (rice, pasta, potato) + variables (protein, vegetable, soup) + seasoning3 = a quick quotient of delicious. And cheese enhances virtually anything.

Yes, there are incredibly inedible exceptions.

Adding too many roasted green chiles to Budget-Stretching Scrambled Eggs will make you weep. Twice.

Using a Foreman™ grill to make Quesadilla Surprise can create a major mess.

And last week’s leftovers will become next week’s refrigerator refuse if forgotten. Which brings me to the so-unserious advice my usually serious sister Marilyn offered when I first started housekeeping at 19. Occasionally, she suggested, just open the fridge door, turn out the lights and look. 

If it glows, it goes.

But I strongly surmise none of this soup will suffer such a fate, should you decide to try it. 

(And Amber, thanks for sharing!)


Harvest Bisque

2 tablespoons butter

2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1 cup diced carrots

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

1/2 cup light cream

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped chives


Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in leeks and onions, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potato, squash, carrots, apple, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Once the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot and stir in wine and cream. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper; simmer gently for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives.


2 Responses to “Leftovers”

  1. I am so glad you enjoyed this soup! Growing up I was always so afraid to try ANY vegetables and now that I am in my 20’s and starting a life of my own…I LOVE to experiment with new interesting foods. My personal belief….vegetables are the easiest and most inexpensive was to create a dish. Even my boyfriend (who is typically a meat & potatoes kinda guy) now loves to try a new veggie!

  2. A postscript…
    You can find the original recipe for this creation at AllRecipes.com.

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