Saturday, December 10, 2011

Homemade soup

Soup is so easy to make.  Dare I say "trust me"? or will that send you running?  Not only is it simple to do... it can be very nutritious.  You get to control the ingredients.  No sodium preservatives ..  and you only add what you like or want to use.

There are as many and varied recipes as you care to invent. Or, find a recipe and tweak it as you like.

The other day I wanted to make some Caldo Verde (Kale Potato) soup...our new favourite...but, can you believe there was no kale to be had at Safeway that day?  Darn it.  I wanted soup by went home and checked the 'fridge.  There were some leftover sweet potatoes.... so... .. came up with a carrot and potato soup.  I've seen various recipes with these ingredients...but, who needs a recipe?  Once you have made a few is simple.

Just get a tasty base going... toss in your choice of ingredients...simmer and voila.  Lovely soup.  And, in this case..I also used my hand held blender on it near the end...and stirred in some milk just before serving.

I  never use actual measurements any more... but, if you want to search for a recipe to try it with measurements the first few times, just Google soups...or Carrot  or Sweet Potato or Squash soup and you will be inundated with similar recipes to try.   I'm sure they will all taste wonderful.  Here are some approximate measurements from my own soup.

Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

half a medium onion (diced)
stick or two of celery (diced)
carrot (diced)
sweet potato (cooked or uncooked and diced)
white potato (two; small; diced)
chicken broth (homemade or purchased..I buy low sodium broth)
1 tbsp. flour
spices (I used a bay leaf, oregano, sweet basil, Italian Seasoning, pepper flakes;black pepper)
butter (1 - 2 tbsp)
olive oil (about 1 - 2 tbsp)

In large pot, heat oil and butter... add onion, carrot, celery, and soften... don't let it brown... add uncooked potato ..continue to cook gently and sprinkle on flour after about 5 to 8 minutes... let cook slowly for a few more minutes stirring every so often.  Add about 2 cups or so of water and a few cups of broth (or  more) ... ( or you could use some tomato juice if you like)....stir well to mix in the flour if it is not already.  Add some pepper and the bay leaf.  Bring to boil and then lower heat to let it simmer gently.  Add the rest of the spices.  Stir every so often.
We like it a bit spicy sometimes.. so I usually re-pepper it after simmering for about an hour and tasting.

Let simmer for about an hour and a half to two hours or til spuds are tender.  As the spuds cook down they help to thicken this type of soup.  Serve as is, or, if you prefer, you can puree your soups with a hand held blender.  You could do small batches in a regular blender...but, it is not nearly as easy or as safe, especially when dealing with boiling liquids.  I love my hand held blender and use it a lot.

You could make soup every single day and never do the same one twice.  There are sooo many options.  I hope you try some soup of your own one day soon.  I love making it.... I could eat soup every day. With fresh homemade bread.....sigh.....oooooh..... heavenly....