Monday, February 18, 2013

Creamy Delicious Soup

I said I've been making a lot of cream soups, lately, and I'll share with you my base recipe.

It starts, like most wonderful things, with a roux. Equal parts (by volume) of butter and flour. Melt the butter, add the flour, and stir to combine. Cook for no more than a few minutes, just til everything gets puffy and bubbly. To that, add 2 cups of milk. If you want a richer soup, substitute up to a cup of cream for the milk. Stir, on medium to medium-low, until thick. It'll get all the way to paste if you let it.

In another pot, start your water+bouillon or chicken broth. Once it's boiling, add your star. Usually, this is potatoes (3 cups, diced), sometimes, it's broccoli. But this is the part where you can do anything you please. Diced onions? Don't mind if I do. Celery? Only if Daniel's away. Red peppers? Yes, please!

Once your potatoes (/broccoli/onions/celery/peppers) are soft, stir in the roux, add cheese (if it's a cheese soup) and any other finishing flavors you'd like. I'm fond of bacon crumbles, ham chunks, fresh herbs, and, occasionally, kale or spinach.

Basic Cream Soup
5 T butter
5 T flour
2 c milk
3 c chicken broth or 1 T bouillon in water

For Potato Soup
Add 3 c diced potatoes and 1 c diced ham. Pepper to taste.

For Broccoli Cheese Soup
Add 1-2 c broccoli to broth and 1 c grated cheddar cheese when you mix in the roux.

For my version of Zuppa Toscana Soup
Replace butter with 1 lb of pork sausage (Olive Garden uses Italian; I prefer hot breakfast (because I hate the taste of fennel)). Reduce flour by 1 T. Add 2-3 c thin-sliced or diced potatoes and 2-3 c chopped kale to the broth. Serve with crusty bread and a tangy green salad.

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