In my book, there are two basic formulas for making soup: chunky and hearty, or smooth and creamy. I’ve already posted my blueprint for the hearty style. This is the creamy style, and it will come out smooth and creamy without cream as long as your main ingredient is something puree-able. Like all my recipes, this one serves 2 but quantities can be easily doubled or tripled.
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high.
- Saute your aromatics: onion, garlic, mushrooms, what-have-you.
- Add 2 cups stock, season and bring to a simmer. Note: If you’re going to be using canned beans, you may want to substitute some of their liquid for the stock.
- Add 2 cups of your main ingredient, something that will puree nicely: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, peas, roasted peppers, canned or pre-cooked beans, even roasted eggplant — this part requires some experimentation.
- If you want to, add 1 cup of some other vegetable for contrast.
- Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
- Uncover, remove from the heat and puree, adding a little more stock if necessary, or if you’re feeling really decadent, pour in ¼ cup cream. A stick blender comes in really handy if you’re going to make pureed soups frequently. Then you don’t have to mess around with pouring hot soup in and out of a blender. Do not use the food processor — it will make a mess, trust me.
- Adjust the seasoning and heat through over low.
- Garnish! This is the fun part. This soup takes very well to all kinds of garnishes. Try croutons, dumplings, hard-boiled egg, crumbled, browned sausage, scallions, grated cheese, fresh herbs, sour cream, or a swirl of pesto.
You know, all of these measurements are just guidelines. You should feel free to change them up, depending on whether you want a thicker, creamier soup or a thinner, brothier soup.
You’ll probably have leftovers, so know that this soup keeps 1-2 days in the refrigerator and heats up nicely over low. It also freezes well.