Main Courses

Fried Soup

Copyright 2010 Ben S. Pollock

This recipe was revised in October 2013.

“Fried soup” was what I announced when I brought these to the table, what otherwise are called veggie croquettes, pancakes or burgers. When I try to make veggie burgers they fall apart. These held together and are as good or better than grocery store veggie burgers. The name stems from being a way to use the last portions of leftover soup. Vegetarian soups, with grains and beans, thicken on refrigerating. The first couple of lunches of microwaved “stew” might be enough. Finish the rest of the pot this way.

The grain can be a leftover such cooked brown rice or barley. Raw quinoa or hulled buckwheat groats can be ground to a powder in a coffee grinder. Flours are convenient.

  • 2-5 cups leftover vegetarian stew or thick soup
  • 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • Grain — whole grain flour (wheat, buckwheat, rye etc.), OR cooked grain (such as rice), OR breadcrumbs, panko or matzo meal, OR ground raw quinoa or buckwheat groats
  • Salt, pepper, other spices or herbs
  • Vegetable oil

Stir in the egg with the leftover soup or stew, as a binder.

The amount of grain, to absorb broth, depends on the original soup. Too little, and you’ll be frying gray-brown pancakes. Too much, and the croquettes will be dry. The solution is to stir in 1 to 2 Tablespoons starch at a time. Allow a few moments for the liquid to absorb, then add a bit more — 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grains/flours should be plenty. The consistency should be like thick, lumpy pancake batter.

If the soup was mild to begin with, add some salt and spices to taste.

Mash or puree the mixture somewhat to help hold the patty together. Do not puree into sludge, but leave some beans and vegetable pieces intact.

Heat a large saute pan on medium. Add 1-2 Tablespoons oil to a nonstick pan and 2-4 Tablespoons to a regular pan. Spoon a plum-size amount of mixture onto the skillet, and flatten to a half-inch thick. Making a single patty first seasons the pan. Cook on one side about 3-5 minutes, flip and cook the other side 2-4 minutes. (With a regular pan in good shape, the patty won’t release until it’s well browned.) Continue cooking the rest of the mixture in plum-size scoops, perhaps 4 or 5 at a time.

Place the patties on an unoiled cookie sheet or pizza pan and keep warm in a low (200 degree) oven. Serve with burger condiments. Four cups of thick (stew-like) soup make 10-12 patties. (3/28/2011 update: Two cups of medium-thick soup, by the time enough flour is added to make a thick batter, also makes about 10 patties. As these make great leftovers, no worries.)

Inspired by the section “Bean Fritters, Dumplings, Croquettes and Cakes” in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

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