I’m sorry to say but I totally disagree when someone sais that soup is not a meal. Of course it is! I could have soup for breakfast, but I’ll spare you the suggestion. Everyone has it’s weird side, right? Anyhow, one of the tricks I learned to introduce more vegetables while I was dieting was to go crazy on creamy soups. Blended well spiced vegetables, with no tubercle (such as potatoes) nor protein (such as chicken, meat or milk, cream, cheese…), put the soup into the “all you can eat” box of the meal plan.
Growing up I never had the habit of eating “food” for dinner. I would always have some kind of snack. A sandwich. But then, when your sandwich is just plain bread and fresh cheese, you can easily understand that two slices of whole bread and a medium slice of cheese would make me starve to death. And that is when the soup made its entrance into my life. And that’s when I found my pumpkin addiction. – but that’s a whole new post topic.
Blended well spiced vegetables, with no tubercle nor protein, put the soup into the “all you can eat” box of the meal plan
Of course I’m a lucky gall and my mom would make me the most amazing soups with a home made awesome veggie stalk. And I would complain every time the soup wasn’t pumpkin. But she would resist and we created some pretty good mixtures (that I’ll share here later) but I must admit I kept on being the crazy pumpkin lady. Well, with that said, it’s quite easy to have a yum all you can eat soup, right? Mom would cook the veggies in pieces in this homemade stalk. Blend it all together and voilà. I would have a feast.
I will never, ever, ever, ever, use any kind of store bought veggie, fish, meat, chicken, etc stalk or any kind of sodium loaded sh** sold at the supermarket.
There’s just a tinny little problem… Who, on earth, has the time to craft homemade stalk all the time? I don’t! I don’t have time and I don’t want to. Ok, no worries… all we have to do is buy a cube or powder stalk on the market and we’re ready to go. NO WAY! Never, ever in a million lifetimes! Repeat after me: “I will never, ever, ever, ever, use any kind of store bought veggie, fish, meat, chicken, etc stalk or any kind of sodium loaded sh** sold at the supermarket.” All right. Now that we’ve stablished that rule, we can go back to our main issue: I will NOT make homemade vegetable stalk. And that’s final!
Well, now it’s time for the big cooking soup hack. You don’t have to! I’ll make plenty of posts with tips and soup recipes but that’s not one of those. Here you’re not gonna find a list of ingredients nor a how to plan to make soup. All I want to do is share with you my pumpkin addiction (sorry, can’t help myself) and pass on my mom’s wisdom when she taught me how to make a delicious creamy soup without spending our in the kitchen making the so amazing stalk.
All you need is your favourite veggie or veggies, water, tasty herbs, spices and a blender or hand mixer.
To me, what makes soup taste like soup is celery, so, I try to always do celery. I add a few chunks onions, leek, If I have some laying around, and celery (some people hate celery – I found out there might be some kind of polemic around it – if you don’t like it, don’t use it. You can replace it with fennel. Or you can add neither of them. Add the veggies, cover it with water and go crazy with the herbs. I like thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon and even oregano. Quite simple. You just have to remember the lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarbourough Fair“. Put salt, pepper and let it cook till everything is tender.
I would suggest you don’t add too much water. Just enough to cover the vegetables. This way you can control the thickness of your soup according to your taste since the idea is not to add cream, cheese, coconut milk or similar.
When everything is soft you can turn of the fire and the soup is ready to be creamy. If you’re using a blender I strongly advice you to wait for it to cool a little bit for the hot liquid my “explode” and make a mess in your kitchen. I use a hand mixer straight inside the pan. And you can blend it all together. With the onions, leek, celery or whatever you decided to put in there.
When you’re about to blend, if you think that there’s too much water, just scoop a bit out of the pan and save it. You can always add more water, but once the soup is too liquid you can never go back. And, of course, if you blend it and you find that it is to think, mire like a purée than a soup, just add more water and keep blending till you get the consistency that you like.
When the cream is ready it’s time to get creative. Adjust the salt and add more black pepper if you wish. A drop of olive oil. Spices such as lemon pepper, curry, curcuma, paprika, ginger (you can do powder ginger), mint, massala (my favourite) and even cinnamon can be a cool combo with the veggies. My most recent discover is to add some chopped kale to the soup. You can just drop the raw kale inside the hot soup and it’ll cook by itself. If you don’t like kale, or you can’t easily find it, spinach is also a good idea. Or endives. As I said. It’s all a matter of experimenting and letting your creativity (and palate) flow.
After all this yada, yada if I still did’t manage to convince you into making some soup it’s probably because it’s 40°C in your city right now. But don’t be discouraged. I’ll give some cold soups tips as well. As for me, I’m a well raised Italian chick and I’m able to eat my hot soup all year long. How about a small bowl of pumpkin curry soup for breakfast at the beach? 😉