So many people I know don’t make soups because they think it’s difficult. Hopefully after reading this post, many of you will run to the kitchen, with the most minimum of ingredients, and try out this recipe. All you need is a favorite vegetable that you want to turn into a luscious, creamy soup.
Back when I was feeding my young children, it seemed that they would always eat soup over a vegetable. Even if it was the same vegetable! So I made a lot of soups.
You don’t have to limit yourself to the soup as is. You can always sprinkle on different cheeses, add a dollop of sour cream, add grilled chicken, Polish or Italian sausage, or ham. Then it becomes a meal!
What I love is that there are so many different ways of making a basic soup like the one I’m making today.
For example, the vegetable choices*:
And so forth.
Next, the aromatics:
1/2 and 1/2
and so forth.
There are many seasonings that can be added to home-made soups as well, but I want to keep this vegetable soup simple. Once you figure out how easy it is, you’ll be excited and motivated to get creative with flavors from your refrigerator and pantry! (I’m talking curry powder, pesto, chipotle peppers, Thai curry paste, etc.)
So here’s my basic recipe, and I hope you make it your own!
Creamy Broccoli Soup
2 heads broccoli, approximately 2 pounds after trimming
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
Chicken or vegetable broth
6 ounces evaporated milk, or less
White pepper, optional
Rinse the broccoli, then coarsely chop it. Place it in a stock pot. Add the onion and garlic.
Pour in your broth until it comes about halfway up the layer of vegetables.
Bring the broth to a boil, then cover the pot and let things simmer for 20-30 minutes. If you’re worried you have a lot of extra broth, leave off the lid, or have it offset to allow steam to escape.
Let the mixture cool.
This is also the time I had a tab of butter, about 1 or 2 tablespoons, a little salt, and a little white pepper. The butter adds a richness to the soup, but it can be omitted, of course.
Place the vegetables in the jar of your blender using a slotted spoon. Pour a little bit of broth into the blender, just to get it blending.
Then add the evaporated milk until you have the consistency you like.
I do it this way, because if you add all of the broth first, the soup might end up to watery, On the other hand, if soup is too thick, then you still have broth to add. Of course, it all depends how thick you like your soups.
I like my vegetable soups thick and creamy. Thin, watery soups are not my thing.
At this point, if you’d like to make a cheesy cream to top the soup, mix together a good goat or sheep’s cheese with a tablespoon or so of evaporated milk or cream, and blend until smooth.
If you make a cheesy cream, I hope you’re more creative than I am at making an appealing-looking presentation!
Alternatively, just crumble the cheese on top of the soup; I used Valbreso. Children would love grated cheddar on this soup.
You could also top the soup with a few croutons.
There! Now you’ve made a creamy vegetable soup! See how easy it is?
* Any vegetable can be made into a soup, however, some won’t work quite as well. For example, a cucumber is a very watery vegetable and it’s typically not served warm. It is good in a gazpacho, however, which is a cold soup of sorts. Eggplant would work as a soup, but the color wouldn’t be very pretty. if that doesn’t bother you, then use eggplant. Also, I wouldn’t mix a green vegetable with an orange vegetable. If you’ve ever played with paints, you know that orange and green do not make a pretty color! Soup making is a lot about common sense!