Yesterday was our new cookbook’s pub date, which is sort of like a birthday in the book world. It feels so good to finally have it out there, and thank you guys so much for all the support! We have a few book events coming up, and the first one is this Saturday, February 10th at Williams Sonoma in Tampa, FL. I’ll be doing a cooking demo for a chocolatey cake from the book and signing/selling copies. I would love to see you there. Click here to learn all the event details.
Now onto the no-recipe soup, which I’m so excited to share. I love simple, creamy soups and make them all the time, especially in the winter. I find that they are incredibly forgiving and perfect for utilizing whatever produce I have on hand that needs to be used up. The thing is, I pretty much never use a recipe. Instead, I’ve developed a sort of formula that I apply to basically any vegetables (and some fruit), and those soups always come out ranging from very good to really delicious. It’s not complicated, and anyone with a blender can do this. In fact, I bet you might have the ingredients for a tasty creamy soup in your refrigerator/pantry right now. I thought it would be helpful to share that formula here.
I pretty much always start out my soups by sautéing onions with spices/dried herbs and a pinch of salt until translucent. I might add garlic towards the end of sautéing, depending on the kind of flavors I’m looking for. Then, I add in whatever vegetables I have that need to be cooked in order blend smoothly (or taste better), cover them with water (and salt) or veggie broth, and simmer everything until the hardest one of the vegetables is nice and soft. If I have roasted vegetables or cooked beans that I want to use up, I’ll add them in after I’ve simmered any of the raw veggies. I might stop here and puree everything in the blender, or I proceed to add in greens and herbs, or coconut milk for more silkiness, or both. I heat everything through and then puree. I taste the pureed soup to make sure the salt and spices are right, and I adjust as needed, which is really easy with a blender. Sometimes if I want some chunks in my soup, I’ll only puree half of the mixture, and leave the other half chunky. That’s it! Easy. We’ve got some of our favorite flavor combos, favorite vegetables/fruit to use for soup, spices, and sprinkles/garnishes listed below, as well as the general recipe. You can do this! :)
Here’s a list of our favorite creamy soup flavor combos:
– 3-5 beets with their tops, 2 carrots, 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, black pepper, pinch of thyme and marjoram, coconut milk (red soup pictured) – 4 parsnips (or 1 cup cooked white beans), leaves from 1 bunch of kale (stems removed), black pepper, 1 teaspoon coriander, a pinch of red pepper flakes, thyme and marjoram, coconut milk (green soup pictured) – Sweet Potato and Chipotle
– 3-5 beets with their tops, 2 carrots, 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, black pepper, pinch of thyme and marjoram, coconut milk (red soup pictured)
– 4 parsnips (or 1 cup cooked white beans), leaves from 1 bunch of kale (stems removed), black pepper, 1 teaspoon coriander, a pinch of red pepper flakes, thyme and marjoram, coconut milk (green soup pictured)
– Sweet Potato and Chipotle
Vegetables to consider:
– Beets + beet tops
– Sweet Potatoes
– Summer Squash
– Winter Squash
– Smoked Paprika
– Red Pepper Flakes
– Chili Powder
– Black Pepper
– Turmeric (+ black pepper!)
Sprinkles can enhance a soup so much. Get creative with your garnishes!
– Chickpea croutons
– Vegan parm
– Crispy kale
– Toasted seeds: pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
– Toasted nuts: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc.
– Hemp hearts
– Nutritional yeast
– Za’atar spice
– Dulse flakes
- 1-2 tablespoons neutral coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee or other oil of choice
- 1 large yellow onion - diced
- 1-2 leeks - white and light green parts only, sliced (optional)
- sea salt
- about 3 garlic cloves - sliced (optional)
- spices of choice (see above list for spice ideas)
- dried herbs - thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, etc. (optional)
- any vegetables that need to be cooked (see above list for vegetable combo ideas) - chopped
- cooked beans (optional)
- roasted vegetables (optional)
- purified water
- 1 13.5 oz can unsweetened Thai coconut milk (optional)
- fresh greens such as kale, chard, spinach, etc. (optional)
- fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, sage, cilantro, dill, parsley (optional)
- juice from about 1 lemon or lime (optional)
- any garnish of choice (see above 'sprinkles' list for garnish ideas)
- Warm the oil/ghee in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for 7 minutes, until translucent. If you have leeks, add them here instead of or in addition to the onion. Add the garlic, if using, along with the spices/dried herbs and sauté for about 1 more minute, until fragrant.
- Add any vegetables that need to be cooked in order to be blended or to enhance their flavor, along with a large pinch of salt, and stir them around for a minute to coat with the spices. Add enough purified water to just cover the vegetables, and bring everything to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the hardest of the vegetables is soft but not overcooked. Start testing your vegetables for softness at 10 minutes and go from there. If you are cooking vegetables that have significantly varying cooking times, like asparagus and potatoes, consider adding in the asparagus later, once the potatoes are almost completely cooked.
- Add the cooked beans and roasted vegetables, if using, along with the coconut milk, if using. If needed, add more purified water so that all the ingredients are covered. Bring everything back up to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes. Add the greens and herbs, if using, and stir them in until wilted. Stir in the citrus juice, if using.
- Working in batches, carefully transfer the soup to an upright blender with a ladle and blend on high until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more purified water to thin it out. Check for salt and pepper, and adjust if needed. Serve, sprinkled with the garnish of your choice and with yogurt/sour cream, if you prefer.