I love soup. It is the answer to all culinary and nutritional questions in my book. You can put everything that is good and seasonal, put the right combination of aromatics and herbs, nourishing broth and you've got something delicious and deeply nourishing. My kids eat it too. Sometime they don't LOVE it, but it's not so odd that they can't manage it on a picky day. But I've learned not to judge a recipe solely on the basis of my kids' mercurial tastes.
I'll tell you the main reason I love this soup. I can make a pot, put it in jars in the fridge, then every day I can pull it out and have it for lunch or breakfast and I've had a great meal AND a whole bunch of vegies. Done. And it's easy. If you are new to soup, this is for you. It is a pureed soup, so I would recommend you have an immersion blender. You can use a regular blender, but I think an immersion blender is much more convenient. Shouldn't pay more than $40 for one.
My friend Tim sent me this recipe, but it actually comes form the former Still Life Cafe of Seattle, WA. I frequented that cafe when I lived in Fremont for years and they were always known for their great soups. They called it 'All In Soup'. Here is my version of it. Make it, play with the ingredients using what you have. Enjoy.
Cream of Vegetable Soup
A note about quantities: The quantities of ingredients is very flexible. You can use more or less of something. You can omit cauliflower or broccoli, if you like. The important thing is to add JUST enough water/stock, so it has the right consistency. So add a little less, then add more when you puree if you need more. Then adjust the salt at the end to your liking. I will also add some leftover chicken if I have it to add more protein.
Takes about 1 hour to make.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion or 2 leeks, chopped roughly
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2-4 carrots, chopped into ½ inch rounds
5-10 mushrooms, roughly chopped
2-4 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes. Skin on is fine
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 cups broccoli
1-2 cups cauliflower
1-2 cups of chopped greens. Kale, spinach or chard work well
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme (or dried thyme)
1 tsp pesto or a few fresh basil leaves
1 tsp salt
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup cream (optional)
- First, prepare all your vegetables. Chop everything up pretty rough. Because you will blend the soup up, the size only affects how long it takes to cook.
- Heat a soup pot on medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the olive oil to heat for 30 seconds.
- Add your onions. Stir in ½ tsp of the salt and turn down the heat to medium low. Saute them for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the celery and carrots plus the rest of the salt. Saute for 3-5 minutes more.
- Add mushrooms, saute 3-5 minutes.
- Add your garlic, potatoes and herbs. Stir. Then add your chicken stock and enough water so that all the vegetables are only JUST submerged. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The potatoes and carrots should be fork-tender. Not quite mashed potato soft yet.
- Now add the broccoli and cauliflower. Add more liquid if necessary so they are JUST covered. Better to be low on water and thin it out at the end, really. Simmer that for 5 minutes.
- Add your greens, and simmer another 5 minutes or until they are nice and tender.
- Now, add your pesto or basil leaves. Remove your bay leaves and thyme stick. Blend. A hand blender (immersion blender) makes this easy. Otherwise, use a blender. If you are adding cream, blend that in now. Taste and adjust salt.