Winter time is perfect for soup making… It warms our bones, nourishes our spirit, and allows us to combine so many healthy ingredients into one pot!
There are certain veggies referred to as “aromatics” – these are the ones that fill your home with amazing smells when sautéed. Aromatics include garlic, onions, celery, leeks and carrots. Aromatics are what add a lot of flavor to your soup base, and although each recipe doesn’t require all of them, you can mix and match depending what you have on hand and which flavors you enjoy most.
To make a basic soup base:
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 sticks celery, chopped
1 leek, sliced and rinsed well (these guys are usually extra sandy)
1-2 carrots, diced
Beginning with a sauce pan, covering the bottom with olive oil and placing in garlic. Turn the heat to medium-low and heat for a few minutes, until garlic begins to sizzle. Then toss in onion, celery leek and carrots (depending on what you are using). Continue sautéed and mixing for about 5-8 minutes over low heat, until everything is soft.
Add 1 container of vegetable broth (or chicken / beef / mushroom). This is your base! And if you want a little more broth, feel free to add some water as well (all of those aromatic veggies will help to flavor the water). Or of course, more broth.
Now, you have the freedom to add whatever you want! Maybe its a roasted butternut squash, a bunch of roasted carrots and ginger, 1 head of roasted cauliflower, a can of whole tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes) or a head of roasted broccoli and and some “cream”. Or maybe its a little bit of everything – lets get crazy! Ok, maybe not too crazy, but you get where I’m coming from, ya?
Don’t forget to add sea salt, fresh black pepper and any fresh/dried herbs you have laying around!
Once everything is on the pot, you want all of your veggies to be covered with liquid, so if necessary, add more broth and/or water until you feel its a good consistency.
To give the soup a creamy consistency, use a homemade nut milk.
Once al of your ingredients are in the pot, its time to get your blender involve. You might need to do it in batches, but you want to blend until everything is smooth. Then taste!! Maybe you need more salt, more parsley, or a dash of red pepper flake.
Once you’ve got your soup in a bowl, top it off!! Fresh scallions, fresh herbs, dried herbs, grated ginger, cashew cream, fresh black pepper, quinoa, frozen greens, fresh greens!, parmesan cheese, nuts and seeds… The choice is yours!!
When you are cooking this way (without rules) it’s EXTREMELY important that you TASTE YOUR FOOD AS YOU GO!! This way you can adjust as you add more ingredients and can learn which combos work best.
OK, so I know that some of you are thinking WTF!? You want me to throw a bunch of sh*t together and hope it comes out ok!? Haha well yea, I do! But this method isn’t for everyone… If you prefer to cook with clear instructions, then maybe check out this butternut squash soup, hearty tomato soup, miso soup with soba noodles, or red kuri squash soup, and forget that I ever wrote this blog post.
On the other hand, if you are feeling a little more adventurous and are ready to experiment, let the games begin!! And let me know how it comes out!!
with love and gettin’ crazy in the kitchen,