I’ve been making soup for many years, seem to do so with more frequency, and yet, I’m still constantly amazed with the end results. In a good way.
It’s kitchen alchemy at it’s very best; where you take what are usually very ordinary if not humble ingredients, and turn them into something so deliciously extraordinary, full of nutrition, and infinitely comforting. Think back to when you were a kid and feeling poorly. What was made for you? What do you turn to as an adult, when needing comfort and sustenance, that very conveniently is a one pot meal?
Soups truly are so much more than the sum of their parts.
If you’re not making your own soup… perhaps I’ve convinced you to start. Perhaps you need also know that many soups are actually made with very few ingredients. This classic autumn recipe… is made with 10 ingredients – including the salt & pepper!
It really isn’t complicated to make your own homemade, good for you, flavourful soups! In fact, I can sum it up with these steps:
- cook with what’s in season
- start by cooking/sautéing the vegetables in oil and/or butter before you add stock or water – this builds a lot of flavour
- season with salt & pepper at each step and be sure to use good products: ie Kosher (or other) salt and if you haven’t got one, get a decent pepper mill – nothing can replace this essential seasoning
- find a good quality stock at the store (unless you have the werewithal to make their own!)
- cook/simmer just until the vegetables are cooked/soft (yes, you can overcook soup)
- that’s it. purée if the soup calls for it, and if you want it really silky – strain it as well
Extras or toppings are up to you: croutons, herb oils, herbs, crackers, etc. I’ve even tried popcorn, which is a hit with kids!
Did you know… most soups freeze very well? Fantastic for the busy household! I always make a big pot, and add a dish or two to my freezer stash. Even if I forget to move a dish to the fridge for thawing, I can still heat it from frozen. Tasty. Nutritious. A bowl of comfort. Ahhhhhhh.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large butternut squash, approx 2 1/2 lb., peeled seeded and cut into approx. 1” dice
- 1 red apple (macintosh, cortland, etc) peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (dried)
- 6 cups chicken stock (use vegetable if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup reserved squash cubes, cut into small dice, then steamed/boiled and quickly sautéed in a bit of melted butter
- 2 - 3 fresh sage leaves per bowl, quickly fried in a couple teaspoons of melted butter just until you hear the sizzling stop. Save the delicious browned butter to drizzle over the soup.
- In large pot over medium heat, melt olive oil until sizzling. Add onions and a pinch of salt & pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over medium, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots, squash, apple, and a large pinch of salt & pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; this step really builds the flavour. If the pot gets a little dry, add another splash of oil.
- Stir in garlic and coriander, cooking for 1 minute, just until you smell the garlic.
- Crank up the heat and add stock, remaining salt & pepper. When it comes to the boil, turn it down to a simmer and cover, cooking until all vegetables are tender, approx. 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it cool down a bit.
- Purée using your favourite appliance, and serve in shallow bowls adding the garnishes listed, or using your own as desired.