Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hearty Vegetable Soup

It’s so cold!!  With the temperatures dropping below freezing on a daily basis, it feels like we are living in a refrigerator – with our very own built in ice maker!  When the weather outside is frigid, we just want something that will warm our insides…and we want it NOW!!  Soup!  Warm, soothing, filling, hearty soup.  With some crunchy croutons on top.  It wouldn’t hurt if it was pretty to look at too.  Something to keep our minds off the bone chilling cold, and coax us into taking off one of our thermal layers so we don’t look like walking snowmen! soup!
Last winter my friend (hi Fran!) stopped by to drop off one of her most outstanding loaves of whole wheat bread, and to schmooze a little.  I showed her a recipe that I had found in a magazine for pea soup.  I loved the fact that it had only a few ingredients and seemed pretty easy to make.  We decided to check my freezer to see if I had the peas, but alas – no peas…only a frozen peas-and-carrots blend.  Undaunted, we warmed the vegetables in the microwave and after making the soup base had a terrifically fun time blending the soup with one of my favorite gadgets – Mr. Immersion Blender (not to be confused with Mrs. Immersion Blender who is pareve and green).  It was warm and excellent and Fran took a few containers home with her for her family (to eat with some of her superb bread).

They call me "MR. Immersion Blender!"

Really?...SO Silly!!
I have mentioned in the past my love of a good gadget.  What defines a good gadget?  It is a tool that does a job for you much faster and better than you could without it.  An example of what I would consider a silly tool would be a banana slicer. Really…someone needs a banana slicer to slice bananas?!!  Some of my favorite gadgets are the chopper tool (shout out to Hindy), the mango slicer (it really slices around the pit), my french fry slicer (fabulously even fresh french fries zippy quick), and my extremely inexpensive mandolin slicer (how fast can you paper thinly slice mushrooms or potatoes?).  For the Hearty Vegetable Soup, rather than trying to pour all the soup into a stand alone blender or into a food processor (either of which may or may not hold all the soup and may leak) you can blend the soup into a smoothish potage (I used the synonym tool) all in the pot you cooked the ingredients in using Mr. Dairy Immersion Blender.  It’s fast and very cathartic to grind the vegetables to a pulp.  Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Immersion Blender, now when I look outside at the snow – I don’t think “it is so freakishly cold outside”, I think of the warm summer sun when instead of snow – we have smoothies made out of ice!

3          tablespoons      butter
10                                scallions, thinly sliced
32        ounces              frozen peas-and-carrots blend, defrosted and divided
5          cups                 water
1 ½      teaspoons         salt
                                    croutons (optional)

Melt butter in a large 6-8 quart stock pot.  Add chopped scallions and sauté 6-8 minutes until soft.  Add water and salt and bring to a boil.  Reserve 2 cups of the peas-and-carrots blend and set aside.  Add the remaining peas-and-carrots and the salt to the pot and return to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for an additional 10 minutes until the vegetables are heated through and soft.  Remove from heat.  Using an immersion blender*, blend soup until smooth.  Add reserved 2 cups of peas-and-carrots to the pot. Stir to combine.  Serve hot sprinkled with croutons.  Delicious and heartwarming!

1. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can blend the soup in batches in a regular blender or a food processor.
2. I strongly recommend using butter for this recipe rather than a substitute.  The little bit of butter in this recipe packs a lot of flavor!!

Get all the ingredients ready!
Don't forget to set aside 2 cups of
peas and carrots!
Now chop the fresh scallions.
 Melt the butter in the pot...
 Sauté the scallions until soft.
Add the water, salt and peas-and-carrots...
but NOT the reserved 2 cups!
 Return to a boil...
It's time for Mr. Immersion Blender! 
 Blend until smooth...
Add the reserved peas and carrots...
almost done!
Save the leftovers for lunch 
tomorrow! Yipee Skipee!!

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1 comment:

  1. Sharon, I made this and it is DELICIOUS!! Thanks!

    Juli Bell