How to Make the Best Vegetable Puree Soup

There is supposedly no wrong way to make vegetable puree soup . But I don’t know – have you ever done a really bad game? In the worst case, it is truly impossible to save him; a mild, watery disaster that no amount of smart condiments and fatty dairy products can help.

I know from experience that there is a right and wrong way to put together a bunch of cooked vegetables. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn the right way until the beginning of this year: bake a baking sheet of vegetables for half an hour, sweat the aromas in a covered saucepan for the same time, mix them and simmer for a short time with broth or cream. … Puree. It’s a little more effort than tossing raw vegetables into the pot, but since frying and sweating happen at the same time – and you don’t need to stir – it doesn’t seem like that at all. The payoff is well worth those few extra minutes of preparation.

This technique is taken from Alexandra Stafford’s Carrot Curry Soup recipe she got at The Placid Baker in Troy, New York. He immediately took a place in my repertoire; I started spamming my food-related group chats for the recipe (and texting my mom about it) after the very first bite. Carrot and ginger soup can be either bland or over-abundant, and this soup is just perfect: soft and complex, with a warming ginger flavor that works best on the throat.

Stafford explains its difficulty with a two-step cooking process, and I agree. Caramelizing some vegetables in a hot oven while others are steaming reveals the best qualities of each ingredient, creating layers and layers of flavor with minimal effort. While I always go back to the carrot and ginger recipe, this method works wonders with any vegetable puree: leeks, nutmeg or squash cabbage , tomatoes, mushroom cream, and even broccoli cheddar .

Aside from salt and oil, you need exactly five things to make the best vegetable soup of your life: baked vegetables, sweat flavors, spices, flavored liquid, and anything sour. The main vegetables can be any kind of roast, but for aesthetic reasons, I usually stick to the color scheme. In terms of flavorings, I was just given onions, as were celery – I think celery gives the soup the flavor of the soup, even if it’s clearly not present – but if you prefer garlic, ginger, chives, leeks or fennel, by all means, drop them.

These are the “rules” for the perfect pureed vegetable soup. Everything else is customizable. The right amount of vegetables is what fits comfortably on the largest baking sheet, and the right amount of liquid is the amount that covers the vegetables; there is no specific weight or volume to strive for. Use as many or fewer spices as you like (a teaspoon is a good starting point for most) and choose whatever liquid you have. The homemade broth is excellent, but the same is out of the box, and the coconut milk, heavy cream, bean broth, cooked pasta water, and even regular tap water are all great.

Since carrot soup is one of my favorites (and takes a nice photo), I used it today with a few cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, and a sad old potato that was ready soon enough. For the flavorings, I used a medium yellow onion and three large celery stalks plus a half-inch chunk of ginger; my spices were a heaping teaspoon of ground turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. For liquids, I chose coconut cream and water, as well as a cup of chicken broth that I found in the back of the refrigerator. For the acidic finishing touch, it had to be lemon .

To make soup, place a large baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven and heat to 425ºF. Preheating the pan prevents sticking and triggers the Maillard reaction. While it is heating, cut the vegetables to be sautéed into chunks by tossing them into the soup pot. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil and about half a teaspoon of salt; stir until evenly coated. When the oven is fully preheated, gently pour the vegetables onto the hot baking sheet and bake on the lower rack for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, finely chop the flavors, add them to the soup pot (no need to wipe it off) and add another tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium to high heat until simmering and steamy. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, unaffected, for at least 15-20 minutes. Do something else.

Stir the vegetables in a saucepan and close the lid; if you notice darkening, reduce heat. Move the pan of stir-fried vegetables to the top rack of the oven and shake the pan gently to move them a little. Let everything cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the aromas are translucent and soft and the fried vegetables are tender and beautifully caramelized.

Add the spices to the saucepan and cook for a minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Scoop the fried vegetables into a saucepan, then rub the baking sheet with half a glass of broth or water and scrape every last bite with a spatula.

Pour the frosting liquid into a saucepan, along with enough stock, cream and / or water so that they barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are very tender – no more than five minutes.

Puree to desired thickness with the hand blender and season to taste with lemon juice or vinegar, salt and additional spices. Serve hot or with chopped fresh herbs, hot sauce, chili oil, lemon or lime wedges, yogurt, cream, or anything else you think you need. Repeat all winter.


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