Simple soups can be made by taking your main ingredient, simmering it in liquid, and blending it until smooth. This could be carrots, squash, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, potatoes.
1. Cook your main ingredient and prepare it by peeling (if necessary) and cutting into chunks. Place in a deep pan and simmer in the liquid of your choice. You can add more flavor by roasting the main ingredient.
To roast, peel the ingredient (if necessary), cut into large chunks, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and set on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook in a 375 degree oven until tender. Then add the roasted vegetables to your chosen liquid. This could be chicken stock, vegetable stock, beef stock, dairy, coconut milk, vegetable juice, water, or a combination. Just don’t use too much! You can always add more liquid if the soup is too thick. If the main ingredient is raw, simmer in the liquid until tender. If it is roasted, just heat in the liquid.
2. Choose the aromatics you want to flavor the soup, and cook them in a separate pan in butter, olive oil, or coconut oil. These can be onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, carrots, peppers, fennel, lemongrass, and ginger.
3. Add additional aromatics such as spices, tomato paste, harissa, curry powder, chile powder. Add them just as the first aromatics have cooked in the oil.
4. Put the aromatics into the main ingredient in its liquid.
5. Ladle the soup into a blender, hold down the lid with a towel, and blend until smooth. If making a large amount of soup you may need to blend in two batches.
6. Return the soup to the pot and taste for seasoning. Add more liquid, if necessary.
7. Adding acid to the soup will intensify the flavor, and should be added just before serving. Lemon or lime juice are good options. Others are balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar.
8. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with herbs, nuts, oil, sauteed vegetables, cream, or chiles, if desired.