Winter Soup: A Hearty Vegetable Soup Recipe and How-To

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A Winter Soup to Warm the Soul

DH was putting together some soup the other day and it struck me to capture it for you. People that know us IRL know that DH is the cook in our household and just loves it. He has a talent and his passion is evident in the results – his food is pretty much always amazing. {Oh – except the first meal he made me, where he crucified a steak. I spent 6 months doing all the cooking. Gradually I saw his true colours and confidence emerge again, and stepped aside for the master ;P}.

Preparing Soup IngredientsI have heard people saying that soup is easy for a long time and now I can tell you first hand, that I believe it absolutely is. It is also a cheap meal, healthy and warming on a wintery day. A winter soup is just what I feel like now that the weather has cooled off.

I am not going to give you a recipe, rather an inspiration. Soup is so economical because you can use what you have. Rick mostly always starts with a celery/carrot base and in the past this included onions. Now because of my IBS we don’t use them, and to our surprise it hasn’t sacrificed much flavour. If we have some on hand we will also include garlic. So for this soup, we used around 2 zucchinis, 5 carrots, a big old sweet potato, 3 stalks of celery, some silverbeet and a half a pumpkin, plus 3 or 4 cloves of garlic.Ingredients

DH cuts everything up reasonably small. We tossed up between roasting the pumpkin or not and went ahead and roasted it for the extra flavour. That involves a roasting pan, some himalayan salt, organic olive oil drizzled atop plus some carraway seeds [carraway seeds and pumpkin are best buddies] and into the oven at 210C degrees. When it starts looking a bit caramelized we take it out.

Roasting PumpkinThen get your soup pot on a high heat and add the carrot, celery and onion plus garlic if you are doing that. Cook it to give a little bit of colour. Don’t brown it. Now add at least a litre of good quality stock [veg or chicken stock for this soup] and bring it to the boil. 1 litre of stock isn’t enough liquid but you don’t want to add any more stock as the flavour will overpower. After this amount of stock is added, you just add boiling water as you go, little bit by little bit when the consistency is looking right for what you are after. If you want a thick soup, don’t add a lot more water – look at what is in your pot. But if you want vegetables swimming in broth then you have to add more. Sound good?

From here, add the hardest vegetables first and work your way down to the softest such as the zucchini and silver beet which should be among the last things to pop in the pot. You could use potatoes, parsnip or swede [personal favourite] for your hard veg. Follow on with things like mushroom, beans and leafy greens at the very end. Think about how quickly zucchini cooks – this and your leafy greens only need a few minutes in the pot before serving.

Finally you have the choice of blending your soup or not, either with a stick blender or in a free standing blender. I’m not a fan and almost wished he didn’t but we blended this soup, giving it a thick consistency and with benefits for people on soft food diets. Like our DS4 who almost lost his front tooth this week. However I think  I will stick with no blending in future, there is something just more ‘real food’ about actual shapes and texture that makes me smile.To Blend or Not To Blend

Until next time, wintery warmth and warm fuzzies to you and yours.

Pippa: Director at Buxton Baby


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