This winter become a Souper Trouper to use up your food leftovers!

To help combat the amount of food still being wasted in the county the ‘Souper Trouper’ campaign hopes to encourage more of us to use up our leftovers by turning them into a bowl of delicious, winter-warming soup.

Despite all Gloucestershire councils offering weekly collections of food waste for recycling, around 25% of the household rubbish collected is still made up of food waste.

Wayne Lewis, Head of Service of Gloucestershire’s Joint Waste Team said: ‘Each year it is estimated that a total of 7.1 million tonnes of food is wasted by UK householders; 70% of which was still edible.  While there are plenty of recipes to choose from to use up food which is approaching its use by date, soup is such a versatile meal that almost any savoury ingredient can be used and so easy to make that even the most novice cook can have a go and make a meal that is quick, cheap and packed full of flavour.’

Both potatoes (fresh and canned) and carrots appear in the top ten of foodstuffs that are wasted nationally but these ingredients lend themselves perfectly to making a base for many a simple soup recipe. 

And by adding a range of toppings to give extra interest and flavours a basic soup can be transformed into something a little more decadent.  Toasted seeds, crumbled or grated cheeses, chopped herbs, croutons made from baked stale bread, a swirl of leftover cream or yogurt or, for meat-lovers, a rasher of crispy bacon are just some foods that can be used up.

‘We hope by more of us becoming confident in the kitchen there will be less avoidable food waste.  To put the problem into context if all the food which could have been eaten had in fact been used, this would give the equivalent carbon benefit or taking 2.2 million cars off the road for an entire year,’ he added.

Pete Williams, Head of Paid Service at the Forest of Dean District Council said: ‘Reducing food waste is something we can all do to help tackle climate problems so we hope residents here in the Forest of Dean will join others in Gloucestershire and take up the Souper Trouper challenge.  It may sound obvious but when food goes uneaten it is not only the food which is lost but all the energy and resources invested in its production.  Using up leftovers makes perfect sense; it is not only better for the planet but with the average family throwing away an estimated £840 of edible food each year, better on the pocket too.’ 

For Souper Trouper recipes plus information about minimising food waste visit www.recycleforgloucestershire.com

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