When Jeff and I first met, I used to buy too many vegetables. Okay, maybe not just vegetables, but everything food related. I did have the best of intentions. However, there were always extra tidbits of this and that, which just didn't have a home in any dish - yet. I had to find a solution. One day, Jeff walked into the kitchen and asked what I was making, "What smells so good?", he asked. "It's What's in the Fridge Soup." Then Jeff asked, "Well, what is in it?" I think I giggled, and then said, "everything that used to be in the fridge!" It is possible that I should change the name of the soup to "everything that used to be in the fridge soup", but it just doesn't sound quite right. And I think many, if not most, homes have a soup just like this. Sometimes it has chicken, sometimes meatballs, perhaps leftover spinach pesto, or maybe just a lot of carrots. But the idea is to clear out the fridge, and maybe even the pantry a bit too. I savour soups with the addition of extra greens, as it's a nice change from salad. The soup usually starts with onions sautéed in olive oil. Then maybe some carrots and celery. Probably a couple cans of tomatoes, and a lot of beans. The idea is to come up with something delicious, super-healthful, and could feed a small village for a week. Oh, and the hardest part is washing vegetables and chopping some onions. Otherwise, it's just throw things in a pot, and it all works out in the end. The chickpeas are measured by the cup, as I have great success cooking those in the slowcooker, and then I store them in the freezer for later use. It's super easy, and incredibly economical. I just add a couple inches of dried chickpeas into the slowcooker, and turn it on high - my slowcooker is at least 20 years old, so that might be quite low. I cover the chickpeas with double the water. In an hour, I check to see if they are still covered with water, and if not, I add more water. The cooking time varies greatly by brand, but it will take at least two hours. I just taste them every once in a while. At the end I add salt, let it sit for a couple minutes, and then taste again. Drain the chickpeas. Once they are cool, place in zip bags, or reusable containers and freeze for up to 2 months. What's In the Fridge Soup Ingredients: 2 onions, diced 3 stalks celery, diced 1/2 cup carrots, diced 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups hulled barley, or farro 2 cups pot barley 100 fl. oz. canned tomatoes 750 mL chicken stock 3 cups chickpeas (or one can will do) 1 cans of romano beans 1 can of cannellini beans 1 can of black beans a large bunch of dandelion greens, roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, chopped salt 1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, and saute until translucent. 2. Add the carrots and celery, and cook for another two minutes. 3. Using a knife, slightly break up the canned tomatoes, before adding to the pot. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and the grains. Bring the pot to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low and cover. Continue to cook, only until the grains are still a little underdone; approximately 20 minutes, depending upon the type of grain (pearl barley might be less time than pot barley etc.). 4. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the beans. Add the beans to the pot for 3-5 minutes, just to heat through and soften slightly. 5. Add the chopped dandelion greens, and parsley. Turn off the heat, stir. 6. Season according to taste. Serve, and enjoy!