Soup. It’s one of my favourite foods, at any time of year. With endless possible combinations, it provides variety within a seasonal diet, and it’s a great way to use up leftovers. Many soups are happy to simmer away while the cook is busy doing something else, and most are amenable to being made in large batches, so the extra can be refrigerated for another day, when the flavours will have really married, or frozen for an out-of-season treat. Generally, all you need to do is multiply ingredients for large batches, but do watch out for instructions that relate to what you need to do just before serving. Often those bits don’t preserve or re-heat as well.
Today, I’ve taken advantage of the tail end of our winter vegetables together with some early spring vegetables to make an easy main meal lunch. The carrot provided the main flavour and colour. Squash added a bit of texture and the onion relatives gave a bit of depth. The ‘zing’ came from the ginger root. My soup simmered quietly while I was out at a meeting, and was ready to ‘finish’ when I got home at lunchtime.
Serves 2 as a main, or 4-6 as a starter.
|1/2 tablespoon||Vegetable oil|
|1 to 1 1/2 cups||Medium to large carrots, diced (leftover is ok)|
|1 cup||Squash chunks (leftover is ok)|
|1/2 cup||Chopped baby leeks or spring/green onions (about half a dozen)|
|1/2 to 1 tablespoon||Ginger root, chopped fine|
|2 cups||Vegetable stock|
|1/2 cup||Yogurt (or soy milk, if you want a vegan version)|
|Chives to garnish; optional salt and pepper|
- Heat oil in medium saucepan.
- Chop raw vegetables; saute to begin softening them.
- Add any already-cooked vegetables that you’re using, cutting up small enough for easy stirring.
- Add stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover loosely and cook gently for 1-2 hours.
- Blitz to a creamy smoothness. You can remove the hot soup to a glass (not plastic) blender to do this, or use a hand blender right in the pan. (This is the point to stop if you’re making the soup in advance. Carry on from the next step after thawing/removing from the fridge on the day you want to serve it.)
- Do a taste check and add salt and pepper now if needed. Stir in most of the yogurt, keeping back a couple of tablespoons for garnish.
- Heat through gently for a further 10-15 minutes. Do not allow to boil, or the yogurt will cause the soup to separate and look curdled.
- Ladle into bowls, drizzle with yogurt and top with snipped chives, including the flower if you have it. Serve with crusty bread, and maybe some hummus for protein.