Mains, Sides, Soups & Stews

Basic Soup Recipe

So soup is one of those things that is so wonderfully variable—there couldn’t possibly be one definitive version.  Here is the bare-bones recipe for cream of _______ soup.  My favorites are spinach, carrot, swiss chard, broccoli, pea-mint, potato-leek, and cauliflower.

Bare-Bones Ingredients:

  • 1 onion or a few shallots, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
  • ~ a quart of stock, broth, or bouillon (veg, chicken, beef, or pork)
  • vegetable of your choice
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter
  • milk, yogurt, half-and-half, cream (optional)
  • spices*

You’ll also need a blender or food processor.

Method:

  1. Oil up a soup pot and saute your onion or shallots until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  2. Add the stock, broth, or bouillon and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add your vegetable of choice, cover and simmer until the vegetable is tender.
  4. Blend the soup until it’s smooth and return it to the pot.
  5. Add the salt and pepper to taste, and any other spices you like.
  6. If you’re going to add cream/milk/yogurt, add it to the individual bowls rather than to the whole batch of soup.  My favorite is yogurt, it adds a slightly sour flavor I like.

*spices are a variance which is completely open to free-choice!  Go where the wind, or taste, takes you 🙂  Possible spices: bay leaf, salt & pepper, parsley flakes, white pepper, curry spice (curry, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cumin), mint, thyme, red chili pepper…the list goes on and on.

Don’t forget the garnishes!

I’m not talking about cilantro or snipped chives, but other types: thinly sliced onion, crushed red pepper, sumak, avocado, crushed tortilla chips, croutons, cheese, diced hard boiled eggs, black beans, hominy, rice, popcorn, yogurt, sour cream…  Fresh bread is also called for!  Get a fresh loaf with a nice thick crust and a bag of salad greens drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt!  A light meal in a flash, this definitely can be.

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