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Try this homemade soup recipe for National Nutrition Month

Try a great soup recipe AND feel good about trying it!

Denise Ferguson, MS, RDN, CDE, Manager of Nutrition Services, Marion County Public Health Department, and Tara Rochford, Dietetic Student, Food and Lifestyle Blogger, share a few recipes and some tips on staying healthy, too!

Homemade Broth from refrigerator scraps

Yields: 4 cups brothIngredients:

  • Veggie scraps from the week (kale stems/leaves, carrot ends, squash ends, etc)
  • 1 additional carrot
  • 1-2 stalks celery
  • Onion ends and skins
  • 5 chive sprigs
  • 3 stems of rosemary
  • 5 stems of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 cups water


  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot
  2. Bring to boil over high heat.
  3. Lower heat to low and allow to simmer for 3-4 hours
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool

Use right away for this weeks’ recipes or pour into ice trays and freeze, transfer to zip lock bag and then use 3-4 cubes as needed for flavor

Handout on making soup and broth online Population Health Nutrition Services

 This broth can be used for:


Rice or grains or pasta instead of water

A base for veggies


Simmer meatsOther tips to prevent food waste:USDA “Lets Talk Trash” handout is on the website Population Health Nutrition Services

  1. Plan your meals and shopping list (Tara will talk about this a little later) Meal planning handout online Population Health Nutrition Services
  2. This should be obvious, but when shopping, wait until the very end of your shopping trip to choose dairy and frozen items so they keep longer.
  3. Check the date on the product
  4. You can use phone app The Food Keeper to give you alarms when foods will go bad so you can use them
  5. Keep your pantry and fridge organized so that older foods are stored upfront (use me first basket)
  6. Re-purpose foods. (Leftover black bean soup can become a bean, rice and sausage casserole)
  7. Recycle and compost (Tara will talk about this)
  8. You may need to cook what might spoil instead of what you have an immediate “taste” for dinner”

Simple Stir Fry and Homemade Vegetable Broth

What can we do to reduce food waste? 

  1. Meal Planning

I find that by having a meal plan, I can purchase almost exactly what I need for the week and I can pick recipe that utilize similar ingredients.  Having overlap helps save time, and reduces the number of ingredients I have to purchase overall!

  1. Composting

This is something BRAND new to me, so I am always open to learning from others on the topic!  This is really helpful with food waste because I can toss the parts of vegetables I don’t want to eat, coffee grounds, etc into the compost bin and I know that it will be used for a better purpose than just sitting in the dump.  I have been filling my compost bin all winter long in preparation for spring gardening.Using Food Stems and Leftover Vegetables in a Stir Fry

This is where today’s recipe comes in handy!  Many food stems that are often discarded (kale stems, broccoli stems, heads of carrots, ends of zucchini, etc) are actually quite flavorful and can be used in a stir fry dish like this!

Because this dish is dependent on the ingredients you have on hand, feel free to customize and think of it more like a method rather than a specific recipe.  You can interchange:

  • any type of protein
  • any type of aromatics (onion, garlic, ginger, chives, green onion, etc)
  • any type of vegetables
  • any type of grain or cauliflower rice

Simple Stir Fry Recipe:Ingredients:

  • For the stir fry:
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (can use any protein)
  • 1 Tbsp chives, finely chopped (can sub garlic, onion, green onion)
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, finely grated (can sub garlic, onion, green onion)
  • 5 cups of vegetable parts leftover from the week (zucchini ends, kale stems, carrot tops, eggplant, radish greens, etc)
  • For the sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium Tamari
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ cup vegetable stock (I used homemade vegetable stock)


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with avocado oil.
  2. Once heated, add the chicken or protein of choice and allow to sit for about 3 minutes to create a crisp texture. Toss the protein and coat until golden brown and mostly cooked through.
  3. Remove the chicken or protein from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Toss the chives and ginger or other aromatics in the skillet for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Next, add the vegetables.
  5. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
  6. Toss the chicken or protein of choice in with the vegetables.
  7. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
  8. Pour the sauce in with the protein and vegetables and allow it to get bubbly.
  9. Stir and cook the vegetables and protein with the sauce until the protein is cooked through completely.
  10. Serve and top with your favorite fresh herbs and a side of grains or cauliflower rice.

To learn more,

“Let’s Talk Trash”

“How to Make a perfect of soup”  MarionHealth.orgPopulationHealthNutrition Services

“Benefits of family meals”             MarionHealth.orgPopulationHealthNutrition Services

Tara Rochford, Dietetic Intern

Healthy Living Blogger at Treble in the Kitchen

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