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At 5 degrees outside (and a balmy 59 degrees in my bedroom), I long for soup. Rather than venture outside, I’m using the vegetables I have on hand (butternut squash in the drawer, broccoli in the fridge, peas in the freezer, or canned tomatoes in the pantry).

This generic soup recipe illustrates the seven steps to superior soups:

  1. stock made of chicken or beef or fish or vegetable (water does not add flavor)
  2. fat (butter or olive oil or bacon fat or duck fat) which will carry the flavor of the aromatics
  3. aromatics, which can include onion, leek, celery, fennel, carrot, pepper, garlic
  4. seasonings (salt, pepper, herbs, spices)
  5. wine or fortified wine to deglaze the pan and add depth of flavor
  6. thickener (flour or starchy vegetables)
  7. finishing flavors (heavy cream, cheese, flavored oil, or a touch of vinegar)

Cream of Any Vegetable Soup

  • 2 pounds vegetable (such as green peas, asparagus, broccoli, squash, potato, carrot, rutabaga, turnip, tomato, parsnip, or a combination of vegetables)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
  • bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 4 cups chicken stock, approximately
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Peel (if necessary) the vegetable and roughly chop. If desired, reserve some of the vegetable for garnish (such as asparagus tips or broccoli florets).

In a stock pot, melt the butter and saute the onion and celery until clear, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and bay leaf. Add the sherry to deglaze the pan. Add the desired vegetable and cover with just enough stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetable is cooked (5 to 20 minutes, depending on how small the vegetable is cut). Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Strain through a medium-fine mesh strainer, then return to the soup pot. Add the cream. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Garnish the soup with the reserved vegetable.

Join us for a soup class on Sunday, January 17 at 12:30 pm for these delicious soups: bacon-leek-clam chowder, black-eyed pea and smoked ham hock soup, chicken-cashew chili, and bouillabaisse.

One Comment for “All Soups Day”  

  1. Anonymous

    I was pleased to sample the bouillabaisse last night when I was a a cake decorating class– I would love the recipe if at all possible. It was simply delicious!!!! MICR