I like to spend an hour or so on the weekends making soup for the week. It’s a meditative process that helps the entire week go more smoothly.
A little time invested means you will have soup to take to work for lunches and soup to enjoy for dinner on nights when you’ve worked late, gone to the gym, or simply don’t feel like cooking. This recipe is easy to double for a big batch. The great thing about a basic, pureed vegetable soup is that you can use this method and roughly these proportions to make any type of vegetable soup.
To customize, vary the broth according to your preference or diet, add cream or make it vegan, thicken it as described or not at all, garnish with fresh herbs, crÃ¨me fraÃ®che, yogurt, croutons, or anything you like. Add miso, lemon juice, or other aromatics like ginger. Once the vegetables are prepped, any soup of this sort is easy and quick to make. Seasonal variations include asparagus, artichokes, sweet peas, potatoes, zucchini, winter squash, sweet potatoes, celery root, parsnips, or any of the roots.
Easy Pureed Seasonal Vegetable Soup
2 to 2 1/2 pounds seasonal vegetables, prepped and cut into even pieces
4 to 5 cups broth or water
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 large leek, sliced and rinsed well or 1/2 of an onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Dairy finish (if desired and to desired thickness)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the broth to a simmer. In a large soup pot, over medium heat, warm the oil or butter. Add the leek or onion, celery, and garlic and cook gently until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Don’t let the vegetables brown. Add the flour and stir for 2 minutes, without letting it brown. Slowly whisk in the warm broth and bring to a simmer. Add the vegetables to the pot along with a little salt and pepper. Return to a simmer, lower the heat, and cover partially. Let the soup cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Let the soup cool slightly and then transfer it to a blender or food processor to purée (or use an immersion blender). Process in batches to avoid splattering. Return the pureed soup to the pot, warm it up, thin with more liquid or a dairy addition, if desired, and taste for salt and pepper. Serve in warmed bowls with desired garnishes.
Image: the dabble
Recipe Copyright 2009 Vanessa Barrington
Use organic and local ingredients whenever possible