Angela's Creamy Veggie Soup Method
The main recipe is for my Creamy Tomato soup. I got this recipe in 1985 from a cook at a restaurant at which I was serving. This recipe turned out to be a METHOD that I use for pretty much any vegetable soup! The variations are in the NOTES.
- 5-6 qt pot
- stick blender or counter blender
- 4 ribs Celery ½ in slices
- 1 med white onion ½ in dice
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- 3 Tbl butter, salted in 1 Tbl slices
- 2 cups chicken or veggie stock (more or less) or water with 2 bouillon cubes if in a pinch
- 2 cups heavy cream (more or less) sub: half and half OR better: whole buttermilk SEE NOTES
- S/P to taste
- 2 cans san marzano tomatoes 28oz size, whole or crushed
- 1 Tbl fresh basil, small chop sub: 2 tsp dry basil, add at beginning
- Prep all ingredients before you begin cooking. Mise en place will make your cooking experience much more enjoyable.
- In the soup pot, add olive oil and butter over medium high heat. When butter is melted, add celery, onion and garlic. Turn down heat to medium and sweat the veg until translucent and soft. Do not brown. If using dried herbs, add now.
- Add 1-2 Tbl of flour and cook for 2 minutes HERE if you want a very thick soup. OPTIONAL
- HERE is where you'll make the variations to this recipe. The following is for the tomato version. (You'll have to cook any raw veggies in the stock until soft, of course.)
- Add in tomatoes [OR which ever variation you are making]. If whole tomatoes, crush in your hand as you add them. Stir and heat through.
- Add stock and heat through. Turn off heat and add cream. Adjust stock and cream to get the consistency you want. Adjust seasoning.
- Use a stick blender (or counter blender) to break down the veg if you want a smoother soup. I use a stick blender with ALL the variations because I want a smooth and thick soup.
- These thick & creamy soups all benefit from homemade croutons for some texture.
This is a METHOD more than a recipe. The ingredients up to "tomatoes" in the above recipe can be used for pretty much any vegetable. Same method. I do tend to add roux to this most of the time, but you can skip it if you are Ok with a less thick soup. If you use any dairy other than heavy (or whipping) cream, you will need to make a roux to thicken the soup. You'll need to make a little roux if you like them THICK. To make a roux, simply add 1-2 Tbl of flour at the end of the 2nd step (sweating the veg). Stir in flour and cook for about 2 minutes, then proceed with the recipe. OR I've found that by using less stock (say, half), you can cook the veg and it's thicker when you puree it. I've also begun using whole buttermilk in my soups. It is DELIGHTFUL! Use half to 3/4 buttermilk if you like the tangier taste. Using low fat buttermilk will thin out your soup, so either use less stock or do the roux. Cream of Celery: add 6-8 more stalks of celery and sweat down. I like to add celery seeds to this recipe. Mushroom: add one large container sliced creminis (or button) mushrooms and sweat. I like to add 2 Tbl sherry to veg when sweating and white pepper is great in this version. Butternut Squash: cut squash in half and blanch in boiling water or put in microwave dish with a little water and cover in plastic; cook until flesh is getting soft. Scoop out flesh and dice. Add diced squash to base veg to sweat. Stock amount will vary with this vegetable, since it is a wetter one. I suggest using a roux with squash. I add about 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg to this soup. Cheesy Cauliflower: Cut up a cauliflower into florets and blanch. Use a roux for this one, make it right before you add the cooked cauliflower to the sweated veg. Add a little stock and the cream, then add 1-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar. Adjust the balance of stock and cream to your liking and adjust seasoning. I like to add 1 tsp of curry to this soup. It is creamy, cheesy and that little kick of curry is just right. Creamy Curried Cauliflower: get a bag of cauliflower "pearls" from the grocery (or broccoli or a mix!). After the base veg is soft, add in the veggie pearls and stir for a couple of minutes. Then add stock to just the top of the veg. Cook until the cauliflower is done. It will take a bit of salt. Add 1-2 tsp of curry powder (to taste) and cook another minute or two. Puree and add the dairy.