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Best Way To Clean The Refrigerator Before Vacation: Make Soup!

Let's say you are going on vacation and have a bunch of random ingredients in your refrigerator you don't feel like throwing in the garbage. What should you do? MAKE SOUP!!!

That, in fact, is exactly what I did.

I had a carcass from a rotisserie chicken, a few random vegetables, and tortillas from making enchiladas earlier that week. I put everything together and made Kale & Tomato Soup with Tortilla Strips.

Note: I made broth from the chicken carcass and a few onion slices, but you can use store-bought carton.

Best Way To Clean The Refrigerator Before Vacation: Make Soup!

Kale & Tomato Soup with Tortilla Strips
Serves 4-6
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and tossed, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 white onion, chopped
kernels from 1 corn on the cob
2 garlic cloves, chopped 
salt & pepper
14. 5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
5 cups chicken broth

sour cream
chopped cilantro
fried tortilla strips 

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add kale and smoked paprika. Stir. Cover the pot with a lid for 5 minutes.
2. Remove the lid and saute the kale until it wilts.
3. Add onions, corn and garlic; season with salt and pepper and saute for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft.
4. Add tomatoes and chicken broth, bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Serve topped with cilantro, sour cream and fried tortilla strips.

I loved the contrast of sweet corn with earthy flavor of kale and tart tomatoes. Of course you know I love sour cream: it made the soup richer and a bit more indulgent...not to mention the fried tortilla chips. If you have an avocado, cube it and add it on top!

What do you do with random produce before leaving on vacation?