Leftover Arugula Is The Perfect Addition To Homemade Soup

If you find yourself with arugula that's starting to droop, don't let it go to waste. Adding it to a homemade soup is an excellent way to give those greens a second life. Unlike salads that demand the freshest leaves, soups are more flexible, allowing you to add arugula that's past its prime but still packed with flavor.

Especially if you use a sharper or spicier variety, tossing arugula into your homemade soup is a straightforward way to layer in a peppery kick, whether it's in a creamy puree or a chunky vegetable stew. The leaves will wilt in the heat quickly, mingling with the other ingredients without dominating the taste. Even better, not only will you save your arugula from the trash, but you'll also inject a dose of greens into your diet, effortlessly upping the nutritional value of your meal. With this simple addition, you can transform a few leftover leaves into a highlight of your soup, making the most of every ingredient in your kitchen.

Arugula is delicious and nutritious

Because arugula is a flavor powerhouse, it makes an excellent addition to a wide array of soups. Its peppery zest works wonders in a tomato bisque, lending a spicy counterpoint to the soup's sweetness. In a classic chicken noodle soup or minestrone, it can add complexity without overwhelming the medley of other ingredients. The key is to add arugula toward the end of cooking so it won't be overly exposed to heat; this preserves its color, texture, and nutritional integrity.

But the benefits of stirring arugula into your soup extend beyond taste. The simple step of throwing that arugula into your soup instead of the trash transforms a bowl of your homemade soup from a comfort food into a nutrient-dense meal. This leafy green contains vitamins A, C, and K, and it's low in calories and high in fiber and phytochemicals. Additionally, incorporating arugula into your diet has been shown to enhance the feeling of fullness after a meal, aid in digestion, and provide an extra boost of essential nutrients (via Medical News Today). 

Arugula is a great addition to more than just soups

Beyond the bounds of the soup pot, arugula that's about to go bad can be utilized in a variety of ways. The peppery notes that arugula exudes work perfectly as an addition to homemade lemon basil pesto — or for a green smoothie with a bite, arugula blends well with fruits like apples and bananas to balance their sweetness while boosting your nutrient intake. Another great use for arugula that has been sitting in the fridge is to use it as a topping for pizza, placing the leaves amongst the cheese in the last few minutes of cooking.

Arugula's versatility even extends beyond the kitchen. When it's too wilted for even your favorite soup, it can become a green gift to your garden. Composting arugula enriches the soil with valuable nutrients, ensuring that when one meal ends, another's potential begins. Whether it's elevating your homemade soup, pesto, smoothie, or garden soil, arugula proves that even in its last days, it can be a dynamic contributor to your culinary creations.