I'm a huge fan of soups, for the winter of course but also cold soups in the summer.
Mark Bittman has a great post in the New York Times on how to make different kinds of soups. it's a keeper, bookmark it or print it out guys, it is a winner.
Please add your own favorite soup recipes to this thread!
I’m not anti-recipe (obviously), but some things just don’t need them — and most vegetable soups fall into that category. Here are easy-to-follow instructions for making vegetable (vegetarian and, for the most part, vegan) soups with common ingredients, a variety of choices and terrific flavor. Print the following page, stick it on your refrigerator and work your way through it. By the time you’re done — 12 days or 12 weeks later — you’ll never again need a recipe for vegetable soup. Promise.
And you’ll need no special techniques, no advance preparation and, for the most part, not much time. You can use just about any vegetable (or bean) you have on hand. These are not stone soups, but they’re close.
I’ve created four essential categories: creamy (vegetables puréed with dairy); brothy (a strained vegetable stock, with quick-cooking ingredients added); earthy (with beans); and hearty (the vegetables sautéed first, to deepen their flavor).
A few practical notes: All of these recipes serve four, and you’ll want about a 2.5-to-4-quart (medium or large) pot. Most can be cooked for a while — but not so long that the freshness is gone. Most will taste as good or better the next day, so consider making a double batch and refrigerating (or freezing) the leftovers. But never boil a soup after you’ve added dairy to it; instead, reheat gently.
If you want a supersmooth soup (and just about any of these soups can be puréed if you like), use a standing blender — let the soup cool a bit first — which creates a finer purée than an immersion blender does; you might even strain the soup after puréeing it.
Garnishes are all optional, though herbs add a dimension that will be lacking otherwise. If you taste as you’re cooking, you’ll be fine, because there is really nothing to go wrong here.
Creamy Spinach Soup
Put 1 chopped onion, 2 peeled garlic cloves, 3 cups water and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat. Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add 10 ounces chopped spinach and 1/2 cup parsley leaves; cook until the spinach is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup Greek-style yogurt and purée. Garnish: A spoonful of Greek-style yogurt and chopped parsley.
Substitute 1 tablespoon minced ginger for the garlic and 4 cups chopped butternut squash for the spinach (it will take longer to soften). Skip the parsley and substitute half-and-half or cream for the yogurt. Garnish: A spoonful of cream.
Curried Cauliflower Soup
Substitute 1 tablespoon minced ginger for the garlic, 2 cups cauliflower florets for the spinach (they will take longer to soften), 1 tablespoon curry powder for the parsley and coconut milk for the yogurt. Garnish: Chopped cilantro.
Vegetable Broth With Toast
Put 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped onions, 1 small chopped potato, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2 garlic cloves, 10 sliced mushrooms, 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine), 10 parsley sprigs, 1/2 ounce dried porcini, 8 cups water and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat. Boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft, 30 minutes or longer. Strain and serve over toasted good bread. Garnish: Chopped celery leaves.
Egg Drop Soup
Beat 4 eggs. Boil the strained stock, lower the heat so it simmers and add the eggs in a steady stream, stirring constantly until they’re cooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped scallions, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Skip the bread. Garnish: Chopped scallions.
Boil the strained stock, lower the heat so it simmers and add 3/4 cup white rice. Cook until tender, then add 2 cups fresh or frozen peas; cook for a minute or two. Skip the bread. Garnish: Grated Parmesan.
Put 1 1/2 cup dried beans, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves and 6 cups water in a pot over high heat. Boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are soft, at least 1 hour, adding more water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish: A drizzle of olive oil.
Substitute chickpeas for the beans and rosemary for the thyme and add 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine). When the chickpeas are almost tender, add 1/2 cup small pasta. Cook until the pasta and chickpeas are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish: A few chopped rosemary leaves.
Spicy Black-Bean Soup
Use black beans and substitute fresh oregano for the thyme. When the beans are done, add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 dried or canned chipotle and the juice of a lime. Garnish: Cilantro and sour cream.
Sauté 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery rib and 1 teaspoon minced garlic in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups cubed potatoes and salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine) and 5 cups water. Boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped green beans; simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish: Chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.
Substitute 1 1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms (preferably an assortment) for the potatoes; sauté until they brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Substitute ½ cup white wine for the tomatoes, skip the green beans and add a fresh thyme sprig with the water. Garnish: A few thyme leaves.
Use 2 tablespoons minced garlic and substitute 2 tablespoons tomato paste for the celery. Skip the potatoes and green beans; use 3 cups tomatoes and 3 cups water. Cook the tomatoes for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish: Lots of chopped or torn basil.
Vegan Split Pea Soup
I've always liked split pea soup, but stopped making it when I went vegetarian; didn't seem possible to make a good pea soup without the smoke and fat from meat. Wrong as usual.
This is based on a Stephen Satterfield recipe from Food and Wine, I always make the recipe as written the first time and adjust seasonings or add spices the second time. Next time I would add some fresh garlic to the soup, not enough in the pistou.
1 pound green split peas
3 quarts water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Parsley pistou and freshly made fried onion rings were mentioned as garnish. I saw no reason for the onions, but the pistou was very nice. Had a bit of finely grated orange peel that was a nice surprise for the taste buds.
In a large pot, combine the split peas and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the celery, carrots, onion, marjoram and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 8 minutes. Scrape the mixture into the split peas and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the peas have dissolved and the soup is thickened, about 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Parsley Pistou.
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
In a blender, puree the parsley leaves with the garlic and olive oil. Stir in the cheese and orange zest and season with salt.
I used a food processor.
This is what dinner looked like:
yum! i've never ever had vegan split pea soup, will be whole new thing for me.
This one has just enough heat to make it interesting. Looks good, tastes good; and it is vegan. It is from Martha Rose Shulman's "Mediterranean Harvest," which is, as I've said before, an excellent vegetarian cookbook. I always adjust seasonings per my own tastes, but this one is perfect just how it is.
I am impressed with the bright fresh flavors of this soup. Considering there is no stock, the broth is rich.
White Bean Soup from the Balkans.
1/2 pound, (1 heaped cup), white beans, soaked overnight or quick soaked, drained
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 medium parsnip, peeled, cored and diced, (I didn't have one handy so omitted)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, (here you could use more, my hand is my measuring device)
A bouquet garni made of five sprigs of parsley and five sprigs of mint
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Combine the drained beans, water and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam, and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for one hour. Add about 2 teaspoons salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender and add the garlic, bell pepper, carrot and parsnip, (if using). Cook stirring for one minute. Add beans with their liquid, the paprika, red pepper flakes and bouquet garni, and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for thirty minutes. Taste and adjust salt. Stir in the parsley and mint. Soup is good for 3-4 days.
wow, so so much more fancy than my 4-ingredient white chili...(but, my white chili is not vegetarian.....yet..)
wow, i'm so inspired!! look soooooo delicous!!!
This soup has a very light broth. If I were to make it again I might add some garlic, maybe use half vegetable stock and half water if I wanted a stronger broth. The one good thing about this soup, very filling with the beans and wheat berries, and very nutritious. This is from Food and Wine.
Mixed Vegetable and Farro Soup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1 cup farro or wheat berries, (I used wheat berries)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 quarts water
One 15-ounce can borlotti or pinto beans, drained and rinsed, (the only canned beans I had on hand were red, worked fine)
2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the farro and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the grains are coated and shiny, 30 seconds. Add 1 quart of the water and the beans and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the carrots and the remaining 1 quart of water. Cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender, 30 minutes. Add the peas, cover and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, top with the basil and serve.
Mine looked like this:
It may seem counter-intuitive to be cooking soups in the summertime, but hot soups can actually cool you down in hot temperatures.
“In the Caribbean where I worked for a couple years,” Chef Daniel Orr says, “they liked hot soup. So, they would have their pumpkin soup in the middle of summer with scotch bonnets, you know things that make you sweat a little bit.”
Serving these two soups cold would also be refreshing during the hot summer days.
Our first recipe is a bright orange carrot soup.
“If you want to make this vegan,” Chef Orr says, “you could add agave nectar instead of honey, which is made from the same plant you make tequila out of.” Instead of the optional heavy cream, you could add coconut milk.
This soup is great hot or cold and garnished with anything from crab or shrimp to Mexican cream and orange segments.
Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU
Curried Carrot And Fennel Soup With Turmeric and Orange
Serving Size: Makes 8 servings
What we’re going to make next is a broccoli soup with basil and soy. In this case, the soy is going to be tofu, so it’ll have a creamy, unctuous texture and flavor but without adding heavy cream.
This recipe incorporates the water used to cooked the broccoli. ”You’re building up vitamins into that water,” Chef Orr says. ”You can also save that cooking water and have it as a vegetable stock.”
Or, how about watering your plants with the cooking water? (But only as long as no salt was added!)
Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU
Broccoli And Basil Soup With Soy
Here's a tip, don't skimp on the butter.
1 In a large pot (6-quart), melt butter over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot and cumin seeds. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and the bell pepper is lightly browned. Add the turmeric, mustard seed, and curry powder and cook for a minute more. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
2 Add the potatoes, the broth, water, cauliflower, and salt. Increase the heat to high to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high or medium, enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
3 Add the corn and summer squash, cook for 10 minutes more, until the vegetables are cooked through. Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to purée about half of the soup. Adjust seasonings.
Garnish with chopped cilantro (or parsley, though cilantro is particularly good with this soup).
Indian Split-Pea and Vegetable Soup
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, (I used fresh, blanched 30 seconds, cold water bath, squeeze out excess water).
1 cup yellow or green split peas, (the picture is with green)
9 cups water, more if needed
2 1-inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled, 1 piece chopped
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons soy free Earth Balance, (butter if you want)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound boiling potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Remove the spinach from the freezer. In a medium saucepan, combine the split peas, 3 cups of the water, the unchopped piece of ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring frequently, until the split peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep the peas from sticking to the pan. (I thought the peas could have been cooked an extra 5-10 minutes)
Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Stir in the chopped ginger, the jalapeño, turmeric, coriander, cumin, carrots, potatoes, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Add the remaining 6 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and simmer 5 minutes longer.
Remove the whole piece of ginger from the cooked split peas and then stir the split peas into the soup. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
This was lunch:
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft and golden. Stir in apple, curry powder, and garlic, and cook 2 minutes more, or until curry powder turns deep yellow.
2. Add cauliflower and vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Cool 20 minutes, then blend in food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in honey and vinegar, and season with salt, if desired.