This Week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Soups using your Veggie Box ingredients
Who doesn’t love a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day? With winter finally arriving this week it inspired me to share some favourite “Soup Season” recipes.
“13 Tips For Making The Best-Ever Homemade Soup”
1. Double your recipe
Soups are easy to make in large batches, and are one of the most freezer-friendly dishes around. So, double up on ingredients, grab a larger pot and make two meals instead of one.
Sweat the vegetables
To make a good soup, you have to build flavours as you go. Vegetables like onion, garlic, celery and carrots — referred to as ‘aromatics’ — are part of most soup recipes for this very reason, sautéed in oil or butter as a first step of flavour-making. Be sure they’re cooked long enough to be softened (and release their flavour) before moving on to the next step.
Consider each ingredient’s cook time
A tiny pea will cook much faster than a cube of carrot. Stagger the addition of vegetables so that they’re all finished cooking as close together as possible.
Chop in spoon sizes
When chopping vegetables, think about how big you want them to be on the spoon. Even hearty, rustic soups should have well chopped, reasonably sized vegetables.
Salt your soup sparingly
Depending on the ingredients you’re adding, you don’t always know how much salt is going in. Many stocks have high levels of sodium, as do canned beans, vegetables and tomato paste. For this reason, save most of your seasoning until the end. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
Take stock of your stock
When it comes to making clear, brothy soups, the stock that you use is the most important ingredient. Poorly flavoured stock will ruin the entire pot of soup. For clear soups, homemade broth is always the best choice.
Simmer, simmer, simmer
Once soup has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and make sure that it stays there. Boil things too vigorously, and the vegetables will get mushy, the meat will toughen, and the noodles will start to break down.
Know your noodles
When making noodle soups, do not cook the noodles separately. Add noodles as the final addition, and cook until tender, allowing the noodles to take on the flavour of the soup. Noodles that are cooked separately will lack flavour and break down when added.
Creamy soups are generally thicker than clear soups — but shouldn’t be too thick. The consistency of whipping cream is the thickest they should be. Note: Cream should be warmed before adding to soup to prevent curdling.
Cold milk will curdle if added directly to a simmering soup, so it too should be warmed. Milk also doesn’t react well to boiling. If adding milk (in place of cream) to thicken the soup, take a moment to anticipate how much it will thin it out once added. When ready, remove soup from heat and stir in warm milk.
Portion the servings
If you’re serving a hot soup, make sure it’s just that — piping hot. Also, the ideal serving size for an appetizer portion is about 1 cup, while a meal portion is about 1 1/3 cups.
Let hot soups cool at room temperature, uncovered for 1 to 1/2 hours — or until almost at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Soups can last in the fridge for up to three days.
Freeze soups after they have been chilled overnight in the fridge. Soups will last up to two months in the freezer.
Simple Brussel Sprout Soup
Created by: Everyday Healthy Recipes
This brussels sprout soup is delicious, nutritious and ready in just 15 minutes!
350 g brussels sprouts, trimmed
¾ cup peas, frozen
1 onion finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp butter
3 cups vegetable stock
Pepper to taste white or black
1. Trim the brussels sprouts by cutting off the ends and removing loose leaves. Weigh and rinse the sprouts.
- Place in a blender and pulse until finely shredded.
- In a medium sized pot heat up the oil, add the garlic and onion and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened, stirring often.
- Add the shredded brussels sprouts, stir and cook for a minute.
- Pour in the stock, add pepper to taste, cover and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the peas and cook for another minute to warm through.
- Remove from the heat and puree the soup. Stir in the butter, adjust the seasoning as needed and serve.
Carrot Potato Soup
Created by: Katia
Comforting and simple, this carrot potato soup is a must-make for soup season. It's economical, easy to throw together with a few basic ingredients, freezes perfectly, and it’s so delicious.
1 TBSP butter or olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, diced (any colour is fine)
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
1 celery stick, chopped
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp Italian herbs
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried parsley (optional)
⅛ tsp black pepper, plus more to serve
½ tsp fine salt, plus more to taste*
2 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2-3 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for an extra minute until fragrant.
- Add carrots, potatoes, celery, herbs, salt and pepper to the pot. Give a good stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes to enhance their flavor.
- Stir in the broth, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Turn the heat off, and let it cool slightly.
- Transfer approximately 1 cup of the soup to a stand blender and whizz just until smooth. Be careful because it's still hot, and make sure you don't over blend. This way you get a creamier soup, but you can use a hand blender instead, or you can skip this step if you wish.
- Return the blended soup to the soup, toss well to combine and taste to adjust the seasoning to your taste. It depends on the broth you used, you might need to adjust the salt. Stir in the parsley.
- Serve with freshly ground black pepper, extra parsley, and crusty bread.
Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup
Created By: Seasons and Suppers
A delicious and easy parsnip soup, with just a touch of pear for sweetness.
Roasted Parsnips and Pears:
1 lb parsnips, peeled and chopped
Salt and Pepper
2 medium pears, peeled, cored and quartered
3 TBSP butter
1 rib celery, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Goat Cheese crumbles
Sunflower or Pea sprouts
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Peel the parsnips. Cut the parsnips in half across the middle, then cut thinner bottom piece in half lengthwise (unless really thin, in which case leave as is). Quarter the top part of the parsnips. Scatter onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel, core and quarter the pears.
- Remove parsnips from oven and flip parsnips over. Add the quartered pears. Return the parsnips and pears to the oven and roast another 15-20 minutes, or until parsnips are tender. *Timing will vary depending on the size of the parsnips. Keep an eye on them while in the oven. You want the parsnips to get a bit golden, but definitely not scorch. You may want to remove some of the smaller/thinner pieces early if they are golden enough before the larger pieces are tender. Remove from oven and transfer parsnips and pears to a bowl. *Set aside/reserve a few pieces of parsnip to use for garnish later, if you like.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped celery and onion and cook, stirring, about 3-4 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, dried thyme and the roasted parsnips and pears. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer soap for 20-30 minutes to blend the flavours.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Taste the soup and then season well with salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed.
- Serve soup garnished with roasted parsnips, goat cheese crumbles, chopped walnuts and sprouts.
Roasted Garlic Soup with Potatoes, Shallots, and Fresh Herbs
Created By: Elizabeth
A hearty, fortifying garlic soup recipe made with roasted and slow-sautéed garlic along with potatoes, shallots, and fresh herbs.
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 large heads garlic (12 – 15 cloves each), divided
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
1/2 sea salt, divided, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
Black pepper to taste
1 TBSP white wine
4 - 5 cups rich broth (chicken or vegetable)
4 sprigs each fresh thyme and parsley, tied with twine
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Trim root end off one head of garlic. Set cloves, trimmed side down, in a small, oven-proof ramekin. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch sea salt. Cover with foil, set on a rimmed baking sheet, and slide into oven. Roast garlic about 15 minutes, or until garlic is soft, but not at all brown. Once garlic is done, carefully remove foil and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slide cloves out of their skins and reserve. Reserve garlic-infused olive oil.
- Meanwhile, trim, smash, and peel remaining head of garlic. In a heavy bottomed 2- or 3-quart pot, 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add cloves to pot, along with the sliced shallots, a generous pinch sea salt, chili flakes, and several twists black pepper. Sauté 2 - 3 minutes, then turn heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until garlic and shallots are translucent and fragrant, about 20 minutes.
- Next, turn heat to medium, add white wine, scrape up any brown bits, then pour in 3 cups stock. Add potatoes, reserved roasted garlic cloves and olive oil, and tied herbs (or bouquet garni), along with a 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
- Bring mixture to a boil, and then turn heat down to a bubbling simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove bouquet garni and carefully puree soup in a blender. Return soup to pot, adding up to 1 - 2 more cups of broth, depending on your preferred texture. Add sea salt to taste, add a splash more white wine if needed, lots and lots of black pepper, and serve topped with minced thyme and parsley leaves.
- The flavor will develop further after a day in the fridge. The soup reheats beautifully, but does tend to thicken – keep a 1/2 cup of stock (water will work, too) on hand to thin soup if needed.
Recipes are curated by Lauren