Homemade Chunky Leftovers Sauce
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 stalks celery (ea. about a foot long), diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger root, minced/grated
1 tablespoon white wine (the cheapest you can find, or whatever's open already)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 12oz can of diced tomatoes (in juice, no salt added)
1 small potato (about 2 inches long), diced
2 teaspoons olive oil
any vegetables that have been sitting in your fridge for a while that you want to get rid of...
1 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
1. Heat medium/large pot on low heat. add oil, garlic, and ginger. (I like the funky combo of garlic + ginger because it smells confusing but tastes good to me. It may be wiser to choose either Garlic OR Ginger.)
2. Once garlic has lightly browned, add onions and let them sweat. (takes 3-5 minutes).
3. Add some pepper/seasoning now, if you want.
4. Add carrots, making sure to stir so the bottom won't burn.
5. After carrots have softened a little bit, add celery.
6. When celery has become slightly transparent, add the can of diced tomatoes (if they're whole tomatoes, just squish the tomatoes through your fingers [hopefully you've washed your hands already]).
7. Bring to a quick boil and add 1 Tablespoon wine, 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar.
8. Stir in the diced potatoes and leave on high heat for 2 minutes, then lower to a simmer (stirring occasionally so the bottom won't burn).
9. Boil/simmer off excess water and serve (takes 20-40 minutes, depending on how you like it.)
I put in diced potatoes to make the sauce more filling.
It's best not to skip the celery because that's what makes this sauce crunchy. I have a bad stomach so I try to avoid using table salt as much as possible, hence the vinegar. Don't use Apple Cider Vinegar or White vinegar, and for crike's sake, DON'T use rice wine vinegar. They have their own distinct tastes that will overpower the taste of the vegetables.
A great thing about this recipe is that if you cut the vegetables into chunkier pieces and use 1 large potato (cut into cubes), it makes the world's best vegetable soup (because that's how my mom used to make it).
This is great on pasta as well as over rice or by itself.