Vegetable Soups

I love vegetables, and have recently begun experimenting with making soups out of them. What is great about soup is that it can be made in large batches. You can eat some for dinner, then freeze the rest. Soup is also great for getting rid of ingredients that are getting old. Lastly, soup can be a healthy and filling dish.

I have made several different soups out of several ingredients. I think after these attempts, I have the process down. Here goes…

Most vegetable soups involve a fairly simple process: Cook your ingredients, run them through a food processor (or use a stick blender), then put your finishing touches on them. It is really hard to mess a soup up, so give this method a try!

Here’s how I would make some broccoli soup:

Ingredients:

  • Broccoli
  • Onions (Or Shallots..Or both!)
  • Garlic (Why not?)
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Salt, pepper
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Bread
  • Sour cream
  • Chives

You may have noticed that I don’t usually include exact quantities for the ingredients in my recipes…because I don’t know! I rely on my intuition (taste buds) to tell me how much to put of everything. In the above example, I start with my main ingredient (broccoli), and adjust all of my other ingredients to that.

Preparation:

  1. Chop up broccoli, onions, shallots, garlic and cook until soft. My preferred method is steaming.
  2. Transfer steamed vegetables to a pan, and saute in butter or olive oil for a few minutes
  3. Add some chicken broth or stock to a blender or food processor, then add cooked vegetables.
  4. Blend for a minute or two until smooth.
  5. Begin warming some chicken stock in a pot. Don’t use too much, otherwise your soup will be watery, and you’ll have to simmer until the extra liquid cooks off.
  6. Add the blended vegetable pulp to the warm chicken broth
  7. Stir continuously, watch the thickness. If it’s too thick, add more stock, if it’s too thin, keep stirring it until it is a better consistency. It’s OK if it is thinner than you’d like at this point, because you’ll want to simmer the soup for a little while before it’s ready.
  8. Add salt and pepper (or anything else you’d like) at this point. Take it easy with adding stuff…You can always add more, but you can never take anything out. Add a little, taste. Add more, taste. And so on…
  9. You can serve your soup at this point if you’d like, or you can pour it through a colander or chinois to achieve extra smoothness. The thick pulp that collects can be blended again then added back to the soup. This is the trick to ultra-smooth soups.
  10. For a little extra fanciness, cut up your bread into cubes, and toss with some olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, then place the cubes in a toaster oven. Toast the croutons until golden brown, set aside.
  11. Pour the soup into a bowl. Add a dollop of sour cream in the center. Add your homemade croutons, then sprinkle with chopped chives.
  12. Serve!

Other soups I’ve made that are similar to this one include cauliflower/curry, broccoli/cauliflower, brussels sprout/bacon, brussels sprout/parmesean, and butternut squash. Experiment with your favorite ingredients…you’ll be amazed at how easy it is, plus be wowed by the great taste of homemade soup.

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Category: Cooking/Food
  • Mike C. says:

    Hi Alan,
    This is a great recipe, here is my favorite wintery soupy healthy recipe for Minty Pea Soup:

    Ingredients:
    * 2 tsp olive oil
    * 1/2 cup shallots or white onion, finely chopped
    * 1 pound frozen (shelled) green peas
    * 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
    * 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    * 3 cups chicken or vegi broth
    * sour cream or plain yogurt plus mint sprigs for garnish

    Preparation:
    Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Sauté shallots on a low heat until softened. Add peas, mint, parsley and broth, stirring well. Bring to a boil then simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

    Transfer to a blender, reserving some of the liquid, and puree until smooth. Add remaining liquid depending on desired thickness of soup. Ladle into 4 bowls and top with mint and yogurt or sour cream if desired.

    January 21, 2010 at 9:29 am

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