Satisfying, Simple Soup
I was cleaning out my refrigerator last week – making use of any scraps of food that might perish when I leave town this week for my son’s wedding – and it inspired me to do a quick post about soup. Perhaps those of you who’ve been suffering from the frigid temps of the Polar Vortex might latch on to this, as nothing seems quite so soothing as a bowl of hot soup when it’s chilly out. Here are five other reasons to make soup:
1. It’s easy
2. It freezes well for when you don’t have time to make a meal
3. It’s a great way to sneak more vegetables into your diet
4. It’s flexible – a few basic ingredients and then you can branch off into whatever direction your pantry and fridge take you
5. It’s the perfect simple lunch or dinner – soup and a salad, soup and a sandwich, soup and some bread
Here’s the simple technique for making delicious soup:
- Start with some aromatics – any combination of onion, celery, carrot, or garlic will add a flavor base to your soup. Chop up about 1/2 cup of aromatics for every serving of soup you are making and sauce them for a few minutes in a bit of olive oil.
- Add 1-2 cups of your main vegetable – this can really be most anything (tomatoes, beans, carrots, etc.), but I was using up peppers that were starting to look soft.
- Add liquid to cover – I like to keep some heavily concentrated stock cubes in my freezer but you can use any canned stock (meat based or vegetable) as well as just water.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, then puree with a stick blender or in a traditional blender.
- Top with fresh or dried herbs
- Sprinkle seasoned sea salt over the top
- Top with sour cream or creme fraiche
- Stir in some milk, half-and-half, or cream
- Stir in some pesto
- Add chopped meat of your choice
- Top with croutons
- Add cooked beans, peas, or lentils
- Add cooked rice or pasta
- Simmer soup with Parmigiano rinds for 10 minutes (discard rinds)
- Add cheese of your choice
Got the idea? Let me know what YOU make!