Leftovers stew No 103

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It was quite the crime to waste food on the home front in the UK during World War 2. Every single slice of bread or old potato counted and if you really couldn’t use it then there were “pig bins” on most streets where food was collected for pig swill..

Compare that with the 7.2 m tonnes of food thrown away annually in the UK today which costs the average family £600 or the country £12 billion per year. The biggest crime being that 60% of the food thrown away is perfectly edible. Does this strike you as wrong?

I cleaned out my fridge the other day and was rather disgusted with myself. Several fresh food items (mainly salad ) had to be composted. Basically I had thrown away several dollars worth of food, something I would NEVER have done during the war and certainly something I should not be doing in my current situation.


Setting that aside I do strive to make do and be less wasteful so today I selected the root vegetables that were starting to go rubbery and chopped up some broccoli stalks I had been saving and made a really yummy leftovers stew. I make a big pot of this every week without fail.

Not only does it cost pennies to make but it tastes good too and feels the perfect thing to be consuming on a cold snowy -6C day.

Here is my recipe..

Carolyn’s Leftovers Stew

  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 medium parsnips
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of dried split peas
  • 4 dessert spoons of porridge oats
  • Any leftover mixed veg that needs using up (I had peas and sweetcorn from yesterday)
  • 1 pint or more of vegetable or meat stock
  • teaspoon of margarine
  • salt and pepper and herbs
  • garlic or leeks or onions


  1. Chop 1/2 an onion or 1/2 a leek or a clove of garlic and saute in a saucepan with the teaspoon of margarine
  2. Chop up the parsnips and carrots chunky and cut the potatoes with skins on into quarters and add to the pot
  3. Pour in the pint or so of stock then add in the dried split peas and porridge oats and left over mixed vegetables
  4. Make sure water covers all the vegetables (add extra water if needed)
  5. Stir and add seasoning and herbs
  6. Bring to boil, lower and simmer on low and cover for 30 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally. Add more seasoning and water if required
  7. Uncover and cook for a further 10 minutes to thicken
  8. Serve when veggies are tender


8 thoughts on “Leftovers stew No 103

  1. We do something called Monday pie, It’s the left overs from Sunday lunch, covered in gravy with a suet crust lid put on top, sometimes I have to do extra potatoes, just depends. It’s as great a family favourite as the lunch itself! Our temperatures are up and down, Carolyn but we still haven’t had any snow down here in Dorset. (I’m a southern softie now!)

  2. Carolyn, I have a question, what can you do with the leftover lettuce or does that have to be thrown out, seeing as I don’t have rabbits?

    • The lettuce and cucumber I had in my fridge had gone slimey and was inedible. I do have a few heads of romaine on the turn and I’m going to make a lettuce soup tomorrow 🙂

  3. We do this (not frequently enough) and call it Refridgerator Soup. Whatever’s in there, goes in the pot. And if it doesn’t look appetizing, you just blend it! Then no one knows what you’ve put in there and it always tastes pretty good!

  4. Mum used to make wilted salad with lettuce and salad stuff not quite as fresh. as it could be. It’s easy, and tasty if you like sweet and sour. Shred the lettuce and slice all the other tomatoes etc. Put in a salad bowl and sprinkle with sugar, moisten the whole lot with vinegar.

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