Last year I gave you my Lazy Mom’s secrets to being the family cook, and I alluded to one of my go-to dishes: Cream of Whatever soup. I like making this simple soup because it’s versatile, filling, and healthy (while giving the illusion of being a rich cream soup). I usually use this recipe to use up veggies in the fridge that are on their last leg (do veggies have legs?), or it works well with frozen veggies. You can use this basic principle to make cream of chicken or clam chowder, or other meaty soups, too, although our family usually sticks to vegetarian fare, so I haven’t tried this technique with meat soups.
You can eat it as is (sooo much better than Campbell’s condensed stuff), or use it as gravy, or as a binder in a casserole. It’s nice and versatile! It takes me about an hour to make the batch, from chopping to cooking, to pureeing.
Cream of Whatever Soup
Ingredients (Part 1):
- Veggies (such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, etc.)
- Water, stock or broth
- Seasonings as desired
Heat veggies, liquid and seasonings over medium heat until boiling. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all veggies are tender.
Note on ingredients:
- Use any veggies you need to use up. Mixing and matching is fine (see photo above: there are potatoes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower). Any amount is fine, but I usually fill a 2 quart pan about 3/4 full of veggies.
- Enough water or broth/stock to allow veggies to cook. About 2-4 cups. I usually add water & a couple spoonfuls of vegetarian soup starter (the kind that comes in a jar and is refrigerated).
Meanwhile, make Part 2 of the soup: a white sauce. You can use my recipe here or substitute your own favorite recipe.
Ingredients (Part 2):
- 2 Tbsp. butter or oil
- 3-4 Tbsp. flour
- 3 cups milk
- Seasonings as desired (I usually use onion & garlic powder)
Heat butter on medium until melted. Stir until it stops bubbling. Gradually mix in the flour. Gradually mix in the milk and seasonings. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer or remove from heat.
Putting it together (Part 3):
When veggies are fully cooked, puree them. You can use a stick (immersion) blender if you have one, or use your countertop blender. If you do that, only fill the jar half full so it doesn’t explode when you blend it! You might have to do two or three rounds of blending to get all your soup blended. This is the most annoying part of the process, but it’s worth it.
After everything is blended, return soup to pot and add cream sauce. Mix up until thoroughly incorporated and enjoy! You can serve it with sandwiches, bread, or whatever your favorite accompaniment is.