Soup’s on!

I love soup.  I love all forms of soup, cream soups, broth soups, all kinds of soup.  They’re just the thing for a cold, damp day.  They make a cold seem less exhausting and instantly warm you after a day running around in the rain.  I love soup.  Mr. 416expat, not as much.  He finds them not filling enough for a proper dinner.  In fact last night while discussing the absence of salad with our dinner, he said, “well soup has vegetables, it’s basically a salad.”  I guess he doesn’t hold salad in high regard either.

Despite his lack of soup love, I have been on a bit of a kick lately.  I’ve made steamykitchen‘s cauliflower soup and the pioneer woman‘s roasted vegetable minestrone.  Of note, the cauliflower soup is creamy without actually having cream.  So, it’s kind of healthy.  I’m just saying.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup – adapted from steamy kitchen

1 cauliflower
3-4 cups broth – chicken or vegetable please
salt
bacon
gorgonzola (crumbled)

Steam the cauliflower until soft.  While the cauliflower steams, cook up the bacon until crisp.  For the broth, I had only had bouillon cubes.  I don’t really like them, I find them too salty.  But they’re all I had.  When using bouillon cubes, try rehydrating them with the water used to steam the veg, otherwise, use as directed.  Put the nicely steamed cauliflower in the blender and puree until smooth.  I used an immersion blender – it worked just fine.  Once smooth return the cauliflower to a pot, add the broth and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Warm the soup over low to medium low heat.  Take the bacon and chop it up finely.  Serve your soup and garnish with the chopped bacon and crumbled blue cheese.  The bacon and cheese add a really nice salty flavour to the soup.

Roasted Vegetable Minestrone Soup with funny looking Parmesan strips

Roasted Vegetable Minestrone Soup – adapted from PioneerWoman.com

roasting vegetables – zucchini, mushrooms, summer squash, carrots, onions – whatever you have on hand
olive oil
salt
carrots
onion
celery
chicken broth
green beans
cannelini beans
chorizo sausage
tomato paste (totally optional – but adds a nice tomato flavour – I used about 1tbsp)
diced tomatoes
parmesan cheese (shaved)

First things first.  If you want exact amounts, click through the link to see Ree’s original recipe.  This soup, to me, is a “what do I have in the fridge that needs to be used asap” kind of soup.  I included in the recipe what I used, but really, it’s up to you.  I didn’t have as many roasting vegetables as was suggested, but my soup still tasted good.  Soup is all about being a little more free form.  It’ll still be soup if you don’t have Summer squash!

Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees.  Cut up your roasting vegetables into bite sized pieces.  I quartered the zucchini and mushrooms and that seemed to be a good size.  Use your judgement though!  Maybe you have superhuman zucchini and quartering them would be too big.  Take your roasting vegetables, toss them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread them on a cookie sheet and throw them in the oven until they’re starting to brown and smell good.

Cut up your celery, carrot, and onion.  In a heavy pot, warm your olive oil over medium heat, and add your celery, carrot, and onion.  Cooking for 3-4 minutes until fragrant (read: it smells good and things are starting to soften).  Add the broth – I used about 7 cups of chicken broth.  Let it all boil together for ~10 minutes.

Rinse your cannelini beans and add them to  your soup.  Also, top and tail, then quarter your green beans, adding them to the pot.  Turn the heat down to low.  Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.  Slice the chorizo sausage and add.  Add your nicely roasted vegetables.  Stir it up, ensuring that everything has warmed up nicely and check the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed.

Take your parmesan and shave off some slices – I use an oxo vegetable peeler – works like a charm!  Serve your soup with the Parmesan shavings as a garnish.

Share the soup love!  Tomorrow – cheese biscuits!

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