Soup is good for three reasons that immediately come to mind:
- It's cheap
- It's good to eat when it's cold out
- It saves old vegetables when they're about to die.
Ok, I hate myself already. I'm going to stop that now.
Back to soup.
I believe there are two types of people reading this entry - those that really do not know how to make soup, and are chomping at the bit to get my soup recipe tips; and those who think they already make the best soup, so why on earth should they read this because they already know how to make amazing soup.
If you are of the second sort and I haven't lost you already (or never had you in the first place) bear with me, this soup technique makes a TRULY DECENT soup that....drum roll please...uses no MSG or broth.
Allow me to get back up on that soap-box of mine for a minute, please? [get up on soap box]. One of my biggest, awfulest, most guaranteed to bug the crap out of me every single time, is PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE SOUP WITHOUT SOUPMIX. OMG. SERIOUSLY. Soup-mix has not been allowed in my home in years. Years, I tell you. For all you trepidatious readers who do not know for the life of you, what to do when a soup recipe calls for broth, I have three words for you: Just. Add. Water.
This soup is a blended soup, and it's delicious every time [fights to not slip back into annoying food blogger mode.] Here are the approximate instructions for this soup, and you will see why I love it so much:
- Take all or most of the vegetables that are about to go bad out of the fridge.
- Put them in a pot and cook them.
- Stick into a blender and dzudzh (sp???)
- Eat soup.
Now for the slightly longer version:
Really Decent Vegetable Soup in about 30 minutesOriginally I thought I stole this soup recipe from my guru, Alton Brown, but I just rewatched his soup episode and it turns out that I diverged quite a lot. That's ok - that means this may even be an original recipe! And really no-one better to trust with blended soup recipes than yours truly, considering I had my jaw wired shut for seven weeks (don't worry, it was years ago) and had to live off of blended soup for quite some time.
- Oil - a few tbs
- Onion - always an essential to soups, in my not so humble opinion
- Several different kinds of dead or dying vegetables - can include vegetables like:
- radish (yes, radish! I am so glad I learned that radish makes a good soup, because before I kept thinking I should make it into pickles, never did, and kept throwing them out.) / fennel / tomato / daikon / cabbage / potato or sweet potato / carrot / celery or celery root / turnip
- Probably should not include vegetables like:
- lettuce / cucumber (yes yes, officially it's a fruit. I know. Get over it) / endive
- Can also include spinach or mushroom, but then I wouldn't blend it and/or add them at the end.
- Kosher salt
- Optional seasonings (turmeric, cumin, nutmeg, that kind of thing)
- Take a medium or large pot, set over medium heat. Add a little bit of oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot, and heat.
- While the oil is heating, roughly chop the onion and plonk it into the the heated oil.
- Now, take your time. In order of hardest to softest, roughly chop up your vegetables and chuck into the pot with the onion. When you've got enough veggies in there that the bottom of the pot is covered, add the kosher salt. Stir. Keep adding veggies and stirring every now and again. The heat should be on medium-high, enough to start browning the veggies but not enough to burn them. Keep cooking like this for about 10 min, including chopping time.
- This here is the step that I added that I firmly believe makes the soup go from just ok to pretty damn good - clomp on the lid. That's right, no water. Just lid. Turn the heat a bit lower and keep cooking, covered, for another 10-15 minutes. Stir every now and again to make sure it doesn't stick. What this step does is stew the veggies in their own juices - literally - and gets them all nice and tender and tasty. What it also does is trap that steam inside the pot, which probably keeps things hotter and retains the taste. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
- Finally, now that veggies pretty much cooked at this point, add the water and seasonings if you want to. You do NOT want to boil the water. I know many soup recipes tell you to, but this soup doesn't need it, and somehow I think it wouldn't taste as nice. If you want to add some soft veggies, do it now. Cook on a SIMMER, not a boil, for another 10-15 min.
- At this point the soup is pretty much done. I like it blended, though, so I now take either all or some of the soup, stick it in my plastic blender, and blend. If you only have a glass blender, probably a good idea to wait until the soup cools (but who can wait that long??). Also a hand-blender would do the trick, I just happen to not own one.
- Blend. Add salt if needed. Serve. Great soup, every time. I promise.