We’ve eaten mighty well this summer and fall.

Our garden has been a success, yielding loads of greens, peppers, tomatoes and herbs. And we joined a CSA (community supported agriculture), which meant that a local organic farm added to our garden harvest. (Check out their website for next year’s shares.)

All that goodness makes me loathe to throw any of it out, making Odds & Ends soup a perfect solution.

Now, let’s give credit where credit is due. The idea for this soup came entirely from Tamar Adler in her eloquent and elegant book, An Everlasting Meal: How to cook with economy and grace.

Thanks to Adler’s suggestion, I now place all the raw vegetable scraps that I would normally toss in our compost bin into a freezer bag instead. After a week, I’ve got a frozen bag full of onion tops and bottoms, carrot tops, some overgrown garden green beans, cauliflower and broccoli leaves and stems and tiny garlic cloves, to name a few.

On Sunday, I fill up a pot with water and salt, pour in my bag’s contents and bring it to a boil. There I let it sit and simmer for much of the day (or an hour at least), until I remember that it is simmering.

This Sunday that meant we returned from a family outing to a home filled with the warm smell of hearty soup. I drained the contents through a colander, saving the broth, and sauteed a freshly chopped onion and 3 garlic cloves in lots of olive oil. After a few minutes, I added half the broth, setting the other half in the fridge for another day. I returned the soup to a boil and then poured it into little bowls over homemade croutons, made from leftover challah. With a scoop of cheese over each bowl, we enjoyed French onion soup, made entirely from ingredients that most people would have thrown out.

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