Turn Veggies into “Cream” Soups
With the bounty of fresh vegetables now coming to market, it’s easy to overbuy. When I find my enthusiasm has overtaken my cooking capacity, I turn the extra vegetables into “cream” soups. There’s no actual cream in these soups but the soup turns wonderfully thick and satiny when the veggies and potato are pureed.
This recipe is a formula: You can use 3 cups of any vegetable you’d normally cook, such as broccoli, carrots, asparagus or cauliflower. Just don’t combine vegetables in one soup because you could end up with an unattractive, muddy-looking broth. And don’t skip the potato. It provides the body and creamy quality to the soup.
Carrots make a cheerful, bright-orange soup that’s slightly sweet. It’s lovely sprinkled with minced dill or mint. Asparagus is intense and is best left for true asparagus lovers like me.
Customize your soup:
- For an even creamier soup, whisk in some cream, sour cream or yogurt before serving. Correct the seasoning with additional salt and pepper.
- For presentation, add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to each serving.
- Serve soup with a sprinkling of minced herbs like chives, mint, cilantro, parsley, basil, tarragon or dill.
- While I love it cold, this versatile soup is good hot, too
Basic “Cream” Soup
4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1 medium potato, diced (about 1 ¼ cups)
3 cups diced vegetables such as carrots, broccoli or asparagus
2 cans (14 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
In a deep pot over medium heat, melt butter and sauté onion until translucent, about 1 minute. Add potatoes and 3 cups vegetable of your choice and sauté until vegetables just begin to take on a deeper color, about 2 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Ladle vegetables into a food processor or blender, adding about a cup of the liquid. Puree until smooth. Add the rest of the stock and puree to incorporate thoroughly.
Caution: Be careful with hot soup; do not fill the blender more than manufacturer recommends or soup can splash out over the top. You may have to blend in batches.
Season soup with salt and pepper; serve hot or chilled. If soup separates, whisk to blend. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and a sprinkling of minced fresh herbs, if desired.
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