soup days

Keeping a blog has been difficult for me, not because I haven’t been cooking but because I come- up with excuses not to, despite wanting to. I either I don’t have a nice picture, or there isn’t really a recipe, or I don’t know how to do it. I had similar issues when I first started making soup. It seemed like it should be so easy, you just make soup! But then I would never do it, for any number of reasons- no recipe, I didn’t have broth, I didn’t have enough time…

With a little experimentation I discovered I can make soup! I can make it with water or broth, I can make it quickly or slowly, to get all Dr. Suess on you:

I can make soup!
I can!! I can make it, Blog-o-sphere!
And I can make it in a boat!
And I can make it with a goat…
And I can make it in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
Soup is so good so good you see!

I can especially make it in the rain, those are the best soup days. This soup, which I ate happily for days was one such example. It’s a riff on a simple carrot soup I like to make, but this time I subbed out some of the carrots for an extra large sweet potato (seriously, it was the size of a butternut squash), and broccoli stalks*. I normally use chicken or vegetable broth for this quick soup, then add curry powder or other spices; however, this time I used a vegetable based Pho soup starter that I picked up recently on a whim. 

So, I don’t have a recipe for this, but I’m not going to let that stop me from talking about it. In a dutch oven, I started by sautéing half an onion in a splash of olive oil over medium heat. While that was softening, I sliced about 8 large carrots, 3 broccoli stalks, and diced the sweet potato. Those went in the pot, with all of the broth (4 cups), and I turned up the heat to bring it all to a boil. This isn’t an exact science, but when I’m making a pureed soup like this, I want the liquid to cover the vegetables by about an inch or so. If I started with broth but don’t have enough, I add water. Once it reached a boil, I reduced it to a simmer, covered the pot, and left it until the vegetables were soft (about 30-40 minutes). If I had started with water, I would have cooked it longer to develop flavor, as well as adding a tablespoon of curry powder to the onion. Being I was using pho broth to begin, I didn’t need to add any seasonings. Once the veggies were cooked, I used an immersion blender to puree (or it could be done in batches in a traditional blender). If the soup looks thick I add a little water to thin it out. Taste, season with salt and pepper if needed, and eat!

Like I said, I’ve been eating this all week- in this photo, I topped it with Sriracha, greek yogurt, cilantro, and bean sprouts.

I hope I have inspired you to make some soup, I’ve inspired myself to keep trying this blogging thing. Although, I feel like I’m going to look back at this post, as I do my 6th grade journal…

*I cook broccoli a lot and as mentioned before, I feel strongly about broccoli stalks. They should be given respect, chopped and steamed with the florets, saved for stock, shaved in a slaw, or in any other way that you can come up with. If they aren’t used, it’s like throwing away half of your broccoli, broccoli that you paid for! See, I care about you, as well as neglected broccoli stalks.