The Circle Of Leftovers

So here’s a story of another (mostly) meatless meal, and how it ended up being part of three different dinners and a couple of lunches as well. To begin, early this week I made a stock from the chicken carcass and T-bone bones left from two recent meals (both posted already). Once made, I used some of it to make a very simple puréed kabocha squash soup using some steamed squash from the night before. Very simple, very easy. The following night, since there was a good amount of it, I used it as the base for a chickpea curry with leftover kale and parsnips added in. Here’s a shot of the soup and the curry, just prior to my saying “fuck it” and dumping the rest of the soup in. Things reduce and thicken very quickly on this beast of a stove.

The result had a lovely density, yet was uncharacteristically light for such fare, owing to the soup taking the place of the traditional coconut milk or yogurt/cream/ghee. You can really see the silky, squashy shine. Best of all, it tasted like something completely different–not at all like leftovers, despite being made almost entirely thereof. And it made a lot of room in the fridge; I think I emptied four containers to make this.

Two days later, I defrosted some pie crust (every time I make it, I make a double batch) and rolled it out, using the wine funnel to stamp circles since it’s a good size. The crust was nice and thin. I put a dollop of curry on each one, folded them up into samosas, and put them in the oven.

While they baked, I rustled up some sauce. Using mango juice, tamarind paste, mustard oil, tomato paste, agave syrup, and sudachi juice, I managed to make a pretty decent equivalent for the tamarind sauce that always comes with the fried appetizers at Indian restaurants. After we polished these off, we had a nice soup of puréed kale and leeks that I sweated and then simmered in more of the chicken/steak stock. We were out of yogurt, which is what I wanted to use, so I tossed in a knob of butter while blending it for a bit of richness. And now we have leftover puréed soup in the fridge, and the cycle starts over again.

4 comments to The Circle Of Leftovers

  • Zoomie

    Very resourceful. All looks and sounds delicious as well as frugal. I still have stove envy.

  • mimicooks

    Peter, Like Zoomie, I have stove envy too. It's just dreamy!

    I love the challenge of using up leftovers and making new things with them too. It just makes you feel good to eat all of that nice food.

    Thank you for the tip about making extra pie dough. I've never thought about doing it, but now that I saw how easy it was for you to make samosas on the fly, I think I may just do it!!

  • Julia

    Yes, indeed, not glossy nor romantic, but deeply satisfying. I heart leftovers and what they morph into.

  • peter

    Zoomie: I'm still learning how to use it.

    Mimi: Having it in the freezer is a very positive circumstance.

    Julia: It's necessity, really; I can't bear to waste food. The key is to try to leave things open-ended so you have options down the road.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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