I've mentioned before that we eat soup for lunch almost every day. Sometimes slowing down in the middle of the day to savour a bowl of homemade soup is exactly what a big busy family needs.
We do opt for cold lunches more often during these warm summer months, but soup is still a favourite way to enjoy the great seasonal produce that is becoming available at the farmer's markets. Your homemade cream of whatever soup can also be a healthier alternative to the canned ones in your favourite casserole recipes!
This recipe will work with so many different ingredients. Make cream of broccoli, or cream of asparagus, or cream of mushroom, celery or spinach. You can also do cream of chicken or turkey this way. Or a combination of several of these!
Start by cooking your main ingredient in some butter or oil. For veggies, you don't need to cook them completely just yet, they will get a chance to simmer and cook some more later. If you are making cream of chicken soup, you will want to cook the chicken thoroughly during this step.
Next, add garlic and/or onions if you want, and any herbs you may like to use. Also, add a sprinkle of salt.
When the garlic and/or onions are browned just a little, add a large handful of flour. (or the thickener of your choice, if you are gluten/wheat free)
Stir the flour around for about a minute and then add 4 cups of chicken broth.
Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn the heat down and simmer until your veggies of choice are soft.
Once the veggies are soft, use a stick blender to blend your soup and break up the chunks. If you don't have a stick blender you can use regular blender, mash it with a potato masher, or just skip this step all together.
Take your soup off the heat and add enough milk to get the texture, colour and flavour you want. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
That's it! Enjoy your simple, delicious, cream-of-anything soup!
Some extra tips:
- For an extra awesome soup, consider swapping the butter or oil at the beginning with bacon fat. Cook bacon in the pot, use the drippings to cook your main ingredient and then use the bacon as a garnish crumbled on top of your finished soup.
- Some veggies will benefit from a quick roasting in the oven first. Roasted cauliflower soup is especially good! Most veggies can be roasted by tossing them with olive oil and baking them in the oven at about 400 degrees until they start to turn golden brown and soft.
- This time of year, my absolute favourite is cream of asparagus soup with lots of garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Do try it!