Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Anybody can make soup

I have never understood why people buy soup. It's the easiest thing in the world to make, a big batch can be dinner for two plus plenty to freeze for another day. And it's good for you (unlike the usual content of this blog!)

It's simple. You need some garlic and onion roughly chopped, some olive oil, some chicken stock, chopped up vegetables of your choice and a few herbs. Cook and blend.

The ingredients pictured above made a delicious spiced capsicum, tomato and pumpkin soup. I chose these flavours based on what was left in the fridge after a few chaotic weeks - three punnets of cherry tomatoes heading quickly towards their used by date, a carrot, half a butternut pumpkin, some baby capsicums and one lonely potato. It's good to have a mix of starchy heavy vegetables (potato and pumpkin) as well as some lighter higher water content veggies so that once you blend the soup it will be lovely and thick.

Simple Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Spices of your choice (in my recipe I used cumin, paprika and ground coriander)
1.5 kg mixed vegetables* chopped into 5cm x 5cm pieces
1.5 litres of stock (I prefer chicken)
Fresh herbs and cream** to serve

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over low to medium heat
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft
  3. Add spices and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant
  4. Add vegetables and stock, bring to the boil and then simmer covered for 30 -4o minutes until the vegetables are softened
  5. Cool and then blend in food processor or with hand held blender
  6. Reheat to serve and serve with fresh herbs and/or cream

* Good (and classic) combinations are potato and leek, potato and spinach, carrot and parsnip, sweet potato, tomato and capsicum. I've also made a great pear and leek soup using very under-ripe pears.

** You can use cream, milk or coconut milk to add richness to your soup. Choose according to your vegetable combination, for example potato and leek is a classic soup that would suit cream, however a spicy sweet potato, tomato and capsicum would be delicious with coconut milk or cream.

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