I’ve been in love with soups for a few months, with a particular passion for the cream soup. They are warm, comforting, healthy, light, nourishing and easy to prepare. I love to go to the market and choose the vegetables, go back home and start cleaning and chopping carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, celery and so on. I can smell the freshness of vegetables and it makes me feel so close to the earth where these products come from. There’s lots of ways to cook a delicious vegetable soup and it’s nice to change, experiment and create new recipes.
Here are my 5 favorite cream soups, the ones I love to prepare and eat in cold evenings. The portions are for 4 if you plan to have another course either before or after the soup, otherwise the portions have to be considered for 2 people.
LETTUCE cream SOUP
I found out this recipe thanks to Giallozafferano (famous Italian food blog) and I fell in love with it, especially because it taught me how to use lettuce in an different way!
Start making the vegetable stock (750cl). Sweat the sliced leeks in a pot with some oil. Take the lettuce and get rid of the external leaves, use the remaining leaves, wash and slice them into strips and add them to the pot until the leek becomes translucent. Cook for a few minutes and then add the stock. Keep cooking for 20 minutes on low heat, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Drain the lettuce and blend it separately. Add 30g of breadcrumbs to the water you used to cook and stir gently. Add the cream of lettuce and keep cooking it until you get the desired texture.
POTATO PUMPKIN cream SOUP
Pumpkin is one of my favorite vegetables and I look forward to cooking it every Autumn!
Clean the pumpkin (I usually use a whole squash), peel two medium sized potatoes and chop everything into small pieces. Heat a spoon of oil in a pan and add the vegetables. Stir them for about 5 minutes until you get a golden crust, reduce the heat and pour some water until you cover the vegetables. Let it cook for 40-45 minutes. Turn off the heat, let it cool down and then turn it into cream using a blender. This soup will become even more delicious if you add some fresh rosemary and a couple of bay leaves during the cooking (remember to remove them before blending!).
RED CABBAGE cream SOUP
Cabbage is one of the most loved vegetables by Dutches, who know how to cook it in a thousand ways. Since I moved to Amsterdam, I learnt how to treat it and to appreciate it – I love the red variety in a special way!
After having made 500cl of vegetable stock, take the red cabbage, remove the external leaves and cut the other ones into strips. Chop one shallot, put it in a pan with some oil on a medium heat and leave it until it’s translucent, then add the cabbage and cook gently for a few minutes. Pour the stock and cook on a low heat for half an hour. Let it cool down and mix the soup with a blender. A nice idea suggested by the guys of Gnambox (one of my favorite Italian food blog) is to serve the cream with crispy bacon and crunchy pistachios.
SPINACH cream SOUP
A real injection of iron and energy to face the winter in a proper way!
Start with the preparation of 750cl of vegetable stock. Dice half white onion and put it in a pot together with finely chopped fresh chili and a spoon of oil. Add 400g of fresh and clean spinach. Pour the stock and let cook for about 20 minutes. Blend and serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and homemade croutons .
cream SOUP WITH LEFTOVER VEGETABLES
Sometimes it happens you don’t have the time to think about a recipe or to buy all the proper ingredients. In that case you have to create a soup with what you already have at home. Nothing better to set your imagination free!
Take out from the fridge all the vegetables you have: broccoli, fennel, courgette, carrot, green beans, peas, etc. Wash and chop them, put them in a pot and pour cold water until the vegetables are covered. Let cook for about an hour. Let cool down and mix with a blender. Serve the dish with plenty of grated Parmesan.
Do you have in mind a special soup recipe? Would you like to share it with me?