Everyday Cooking

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Luscious Golden Vegetable Soup

The grown-ups in our household do tend to overindulge from time to time so in order to balance things out a bit, we try and have soup for dinner some nights. This was my husband's idea. He seems to be under the false impression that soups are always healthy and low-fat. I do love very tasty things which, unfortunately, usually translates to creamy concoctions when it comes to soups.

This one that I made tonight doesn't seem so bad. The idea came up as I was thinking of something to make for A, who at 6 months, is still limited in his food repertoire. This really is just glorified baby food. Just kidding! At any rate, I am glad A kindly let me experiment with some of his vegetable puree which ended up feeding the rest of the clan.

Before anything else, please know that when I cook, except when making dessert, I do not follow a single recipe and follow a multitude at the same time. I do not like to measure, preferring to taste my cooking as I go along. I constantly read cookbooks and surf the net for inspiration and try and make things from memory, usually putting my own slant on things to use ingredients that are readily available. Measures are all approximate, trust your own instinct when it comes to cooking!

1 c chopped butternut pumpkin
1 c chopped sweet potato
1 c chopped parsnips

Boil above vegetables in 400ml water until very soft. Puree in a blender.
A couple of tablespoons of this was gobbled up by my little man. The rest can go in the soup...

Fry a cup of chopped leeks in 3Tbsp olive oil until transluscent. Add 1/2tsp minced garlic and 1/2tsp minced ginger (I decided to add this as everyone at home has got the sniffles at the moment). Mix around for a minute. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 c bacon stock. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Blitz with a hand blender. Add the pureed vegetables and let simmer until hot.

There really is no reason to separate the boiling/blending of the vegies and leek apart from the fact that the vegies were originally bought and cooked for A, who isn't old enough for oil/onion/salt/pepper yet.

I was surprised by the taste of this soup at there was already lot of creaminess without needing to add the usual topping of sour cream. I have made sweet potato soup and pumpkin soup separately before. However, I think it's the earthiness of the parsnip that ties this together.

I also made some Zucchini floaters (if a bit of crunch on your soup floats your boat, try this!)
The idea of 'floaters' I got from a book called 'Super Soups' by Michael van Straten.
This is how I made my very simple version:
Mix together
1 cup grated zucchini
1 beaten egg
1 c plain flour
salt and pepper to taste.
Take spoonfulls of the mix and fry in olive oil until brown and crunchy.

Ta Dah!!!!

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