Quick and easy warming soup using leftover vegetables

Wren Kitchens has collaborated with celebrity sustainable cook, Sara Kiyo Popowa, to share easy tips on how cook and eat sustainably.

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 1:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th December 2020, 1:30 pm

The food we eat can have a huge impact on the world we live in.

Being environmentally conscious when it comes to the food we eat can often seem a daunting and restrictive task, with many fearing that their entire diets will need to change.

However, cooking and eating green can be as exciting as it can be easy!


To help people achieve their green goals, Wren Kitchens have teamed up with celebrity cook and writer Sara Kiyo Popowa, to reveal her top tips on cooking and eating sustainably in 2021:

1. Only food shop once a week

If possible you should try and do your grocery shopping only once a week.

By reducing the number of trips we take when shopping for food we can avoid buying more than we need!

A top tip to avoid this is to think of ingredients with multiple uses in mind whilst making sure you buy all the ingredients in one go.

2. Subscribe to a veg box

Subscribing to a veg box is a great way to help the environment as well as offering your support to local farmers.

In order to reduce food waste, make a pact with yourself to use up all of the vegetables in the box. This can be a fun challenge, especially if you’re not as familiar with some of them! You can also rediscover the beauty of the old seasonable vegetables by using them in different ways.

3. Buy your favourite items in bulk

Whether it’s a routine snack or a specific ingredient, everybody has those food and drink items that they love to over consume.

One way to save the environmental impact and also save money is by identifying these whole food stables and buying these items in bulk – this can be done via many online sellers. It saves on packaging and energy in production, as well as saving you money.

4. Eat in-season produce

Most fresh foods have a specific season in which they are ripe and easy to attain. Eating seasonal produce doesn't just benefit your body, but it will also support the local farming economy and the local landscape through supply and demand.

Seasonal vegetables will provide your body with what it needs in that season, for example cooling, refreshing fruits in summer and starchy carby root veg in winter.

5. Commit and be motivated

It's important to find your own motivation as to why you want to cook and eat more sustainably. Once you have discovered what it is that is driving you to change your diet, it's much easier to stick to the changes you make.

Shopping, cooking and eating more sustainably may seem like extra effort, at least to begin with. However, as time goes on you will see the changes having a positive impact on areas in your life and parts of yourself you may have never expected.

Here is a recipe for you to try at home...


1 to 1.5 litre water

1 leek, sliced

10cm piece of kombu

Small handful dried shiitake mushrooms (10-20g), stems broken off and discarded

A few garlic cloves, halved

Root veggies, chopped – I used 2 carrots and a parsnip but you can use any, or squash

Ttoek, rice sticks, any amount, or leftover rice or already cooked noodles

1 can of #beans, drained

Good pinch of gochugaru Korean pepper, or other chilli, or fresh ginger

Good pinch of salt

A few good spoonfuls of miso paste (any)

A good drizzle of toasted sesame oil

1 bunch spinach or other greens


Put the water on your hob and slice your veggies as the water heats up, adding the leek, kombu, shiitake and garlic to the water.

Let boil on medium heat for 5-10 minutes to make a stock. Add root veggies and Tteok and boil cook for another 10 minutes, adding the beans, korean pepper and salt after a few minutes.

Check that the rice stick are soft all the way through then take off the heat, stir in miso, add spinach and sesame oil and leave for the spinach to wilt a few minutes.

For more Tips from Sara and further information, please go to wrenkitchens.com/blog/delicious-warming-soup-made-with-leftovers

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