Doesn’t everyone love a good soup?
Ahhh, Saturday is here. It was a long week. Ain’t that the honest truth..
I’ve battled a cold (some say I get man-sick), and it’s been a tough weather week here in Vancouver – can you say endless grey and rain? Add to that a smattering of snow, slush, drizzle, mist, wind, and pretty much everything else and you’ve got a perfect reason to make:
A pot of Honest Soup!
Yep, I am calling it Honest Soup because when it comes to making a killer soup, you don’t have to be a master in the kitchen, or even a super confident cook (in my humble opinion anyway).
Honestly, once you find a few tricks when it comes to proportions, you rarely even need recipes. And if you (like me and especially my family) enjoy reveling in a little flavor, you know that the secret to a delicious veggie soup is in the butter, the salt, and the cheese* (that’s for you, Charlie).
*unless you don’t.
I like dairy free soups too (all you wonderful vegans out there, that’s for you), and the same rule applies. A few tricks are all you need!**
But (let’s be honest here) what home cook doesn’t already know that?
All you need is:
- (just a little) onion
- (usually) potato or sweet potato for starch
- a random selection of vegetables
- a blender or hand blender
- and (just a little) inspiration!
Since this blog is all about living with (just a little) less, last night was also a perfect opportunity to forego an unnecessary shopping trip to the market and clean out the fridge. All this blogging, recipe writing, and cooking has me pretty inspired, and I had a real beautiful mess of random veggies left in my crisper.
This is what it looked like to start (not terribly glamorous, folks!):
Honest Vegetable Soup:
- 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium/large yellow onion)
- 2 cups potatoes, chopped (skin on)
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups chopped broccoli (including the stalks)
- 1 lonely celery stalk, chopped (broken in 2 pieces!)
- 2 cups green cabbage, chopped
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- 1 cup heaping grated sharp cheese (tonight it was an English Dubliner Cheddar)(optional for vegan soup)
- 1 cup milk (optional for vegan version)
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp butter (optional)
- Olive oil for cooking
- black pepper
Chop all your veggies and separate veggies in bowls according to cooking time.* Heat olive oil on medium high and add onion and one tbsp. of salt. Cook, stirring for 5-8 minutes until brown. Add chopped potatoes, and cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring. Add water and broccoli, broccoli stalks, and celery and bring the water to a very gentle boil on medium heat with the lid on. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes, until stalks are soft. Add cabbage and kale (stir them in gently) and cook, covered for another 5 minutes.
With your hand blender (or blender in batches), blend all to a very smooth puree in the same pot you cooked it in. Add grated cheese, milk, remaining salt, and pepper.
Anything tastes good with cheese, salt, and butter (but there are other ways too). And a good blender is a must.
Turn heat to low and stir until creamy and all the cheese is melted. Add butter if desired, and season to taste with pepper. Serve in bowls topped with chopped fresh herbs, more black pepper if desired, and (always) (just a little) swirl of olive oil.
*Always cook veggies according to their type: 2-3 minutes for leafy greens, 5-8 minutes for celery, carrots, cauli/broccoli, 10+ minutes for potatoes and starches.
**For a delicious vegan soup, I simply omit the additional milk after blending and add a few tbsp to taste of medium miso to the soup. This adds flavor, richness and a yummy salty kick in the pants (honestly). Top with green onions and olive or sesame oil.
Serve this soup with crusty bread or crackers, a good glass of wine, and an (honest) smile.
A warm bowl of soup on a cold night can’t be beat, and my fridge is looking pretty sweet this morning too.
Here I come kitchen
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
~ Thomas Jefferson
I’d love to know how you clean out your fridge and make use of the random bits that just don’t make it into your delicious creations throughout the week.
Stay tuned this week, I’ve got a killer kale pesto to share and another creative (and tasty) use for almond pulp!
Thanks to two of my favorite bloggers for the Versatile Blogger shout out – I’ll be reciprocating some of that love over the weekend…you guys are all amazing!
Happy Saturday folks!
Yours in Less,