Here at the Nook, from october to march, monday is soup night. To get better from the weekend, to be warm, to console ourselves from “the monday”, and because we like ’em.
Up untill now we had the habit of buying those pre-made soups that came in cartons at the supermarket, heat them up and add a couple of croutons, and bon appetit.
We also made our own classification: regular “purees” were still too chewy for us, velvet creams were just fine (soups with chunks… we don’t like those!).
But then you hear people talking about “Asparagus cream” or “veloutée de ma mère”, “velvet cream of the most velvety velvet creamy cream” and so on and you start thinking that cooking yourself one of those is possible only after you’ve attended several years at the Cordon Bleu in Paris.
So I decided to give it a try.
Since I’m very humble.
Then I started googling for velvet cream soup made with leek, with zucchini, with broccoli (these are, more or lesse, the vegetables that I buy most of the time). And that’s when I discovered a great thing: all the velvet creams are made the same way.
Well, more or less, there are a couple of differences here and there, but the basic theory it’s always the same:
sear the vegetables you want
add some starch
cook with broth
When it comes at starch different recipes use corn starch or potato starch, powdered, some use boiled rice or others simply potatoes. I choose potatoes (so they stop sprouting in the cabinet with the onions) because to me it’s the easiest and yummiest option.
Basically here’s how you do it: warm up some oil, sear the onions (more or less onions, depends on how much you like them), sear your vegetables and your potatoes (I go for a 50/50 ratio), sear it briefly they don’t need to turn brown, and cover with broth (I use cubes).
Cover everything by half an inch with broth, this should do, but anyway keep some hot broth at hand, you’ll never know if your cream turns up a little bit too dense (you’ll want to add hot broth to make it a little bit more runny ;)).
Add salt and pepper and whatever spice/herb you might want to add.
Then, when the vegetables are done and soft (I usually try to fork a piece of potato, if it mashes it’s done), mix it with an immersion mixer straight in your pot then serve it.
If you want to be cool add a tiny bit of raw oil, sprinkle some pepper and add a couple of croutons. Smitten!
Now that you know how to do it, here are the doses for my zucchini and lemon-y-thyme for two:
– a half onion, chopped finely
– two zucchini, chopped roughly
– two small potatoes, chopped roughly
– a cube to make vegetable stock in a pot with quite some water (or if you make your own stock it will turn out even tastier)
– a pinch of salt
– two pinches of lemon-y-thyme, dried and reduced to powder
– two spoons of oil to sautée the onions etc.
Enjoy. No, really, it IS good! If the years ago someone had told me “When you’ll grow up you’ll cook your own soups and you will like them” I would have laughed hard in their faces, with a lot of sarcasm. But it is good indeed (I turned old).