First Make The Basic Vegetable Soup Base
The Cream of Zucchini Soup called to me,
using a master recipe base of Rice & Onion Soup Base that is also applied to
Cream of Chicken & Vegetable Soup,
Cream of Cucumber Soup,
Cream of Cauliflower Soup,
Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Broccoli --
see what I mean about a basic technique with adaptations?
CREAM of ZUCCHINI SOUP
Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Time to table: 75 minutes
Makes 8 cups
RICE & ONION SOUP BASE
8 cups liquid (water or broth or milk or a combination)
2 tablespoons butter
1 - 2 cups diced yellow onion (any onion except a sweet onion is good)
1/2 cup uncooked rice (I used brown jasmine)
For ZUCCHINI SOUP
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, ends trimmed, skin on, grated (easy enough with a hand grater)
1/2 cup sour cream (or cream or crème fraîche)
Fresh herbs (I used chive, Julia suggested tarragon or parsley)
Bring 4 cups of the liquid to a boil in the microwave. (This is an optional step that speeds things along. You could heat all 8 cups at the same time but I do it in a four-cup Pyrex dish that fits easily in the dishwasher so do this in two steps with no delay. You really can't conveniently warm milk in the microwave without scorching it so if using all milk, I'd skip this step entirely.) When the first 4 cups have been added to the soup, warm the remaining 4 cups of liquid in the microwave.
Meanwhile, in a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter til shimmery on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the onion and rice, stir to coat with fat. Let cook, stirring frequently and adjusting heat if necessary, til onions turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add the first 4 cups liquid and let cook, stirring occasionally, til rice is soft, about 30 minutes.
For ZUCCHINI SOUP
Stir in 3/4 of the grated zucchini and let cook for about 5 minutes, until zucchini is quite soft. In batches transfer soup to a blender and whiz til smooth. (Since the liquid is hot, to avoid burning yourself and making a HUGE mess, don't fill the blender more than half full and do hold on tight to the top of the blender. Since you're working in batches, you can put the blended soup into the bowl with the remaining zucchini.) Return all the soup and the remaining zucchini and the second 4 cups of liquid to the pot. Let cook for about 5 minutes, til the zucchini is barely cooked. Stir in the sour cream and stir well til diffused throughout the soup and warmed through. (Little pockets of sour cream are great, don't worry if you don't get them all.)
CREAM of ZUCCHINI SOUP Cook 2T butter, 2c onion, 1/2 c rice til golden; add 4c broth, cook til rice soft; add 75% 1 1/2lb grated zucchini, cook til soft; blend; add 4c more broth, remaining zucchini, cook 5min; add ½ c sour cream. 9c=WW2/cup VV07 Julia Child
VICHYSSOISE (CHILLED LEEK AND POTATO SOUP)
Start to finish: 1 hour, plus chilling
Servings: 6 to 8
3 cups peeled and sliced potatoes
3 cups sliced leeks, white parts only
11/2 quarts chicken stock or broth
Salt, to taste
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
White pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium-high, simmer the potatoes, leeks, stock or broth, and a bit of salt for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Pass the mixture through a food mill or transfer it to a blender and purée until smooth. Pass the milled or puréed soup through a fine mesh strainer. Stir in enough cream to reach desired consistency, then season with white pepper and additional salt. Oversalt slightly, as salt loses flavor in chilled dishes.
Chill the soup. When ready to serve, ladle into cups and garnish with chives.
Julia Child's Potato Leek Soup
The smell of simmering onions in butter is like perfume to me. It's like culinary foreplay, if you will! This is a recipe from the queen herself, Julia Child, for the classic potato leek soup. Here’s an old joke my father told me a hundred times... “How do you make vichyssoise? First, you take a leek.”
3-4 cups of diced peeled potatoes (1 lb.)
3 cups thinly sliced leeks, including the tender greens
2 quarts water
1 Tablespoon salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream or 3 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons minced chives or parsley
Simmer vegetables, salt, and water together, partially covered for 40-50 minutes in a 3-4 quart saucepan. Mash the vegetables into the soup with a fork or pass through a food mill. Julia does not like the texture of soup pureed in a blender, your call. Adjust salt and pepper. You can stop at this point. When ready to serve, bring soup back to simmering. Then off the heat, stir in the cream or butter and top with chopped chives or parsley. It does not get much better than that! Makes 2 quarts of soup for 6-8 servings.
Split Pea Soup
Split pea soup is one of those wonderful hearty soups of winter. Made with dried "split" peas, and cooked up with a flavorful, smokey ham hock, it's warm, filling, and satisfying. This split pea soup recipe is based on one written by Julia Child years ago for a Parade Magazine article. It's a shortened version of the split pea soup recipe in her book, The Way to Cook.
* 1 1/2 cups green split peas
* 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
* 2 celery stalks, chopped
* 1 large leek, chopped
* 1 large clove of garlic, halved
* 1 herb bouquet*
* 1 or 2 well-rinsed ham hocks
* Salt and Pepper
* Optional garnish - small toasted croutons
*Herb Bouquet: Tie 3 cloves garlic, 4 allspice berries, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon thyme, 8 sprigs parsley in washed cheesecloth.
1 Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain peas. Place in a 4 quart pan with the vegetables, herb bouquet, ham hocks and 2 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top of the soup for several minutes, until the scum ceases to rise. Cover loosely and simmer about 1 1/2 hours, or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally in case they stick to the bottom of the pan.
2 Remove bones, and herb bouquet from soup, discard. Either purée through a vegetable mill, or purée in a food processor and then pass through a sieve. Correct seasoning.
3 Reheat, taste again for seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with croutons and or sautéed ham.
Makes 2 quarts. Serves 6.
Basic Vegetable Soup Base/Stock #1
* 8 cups water, cold or at room temperature
* 1 to 3 large onions, unpeeled, quartered
* 1 large carrot, scrubbed, quartered
* 2 cups potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
* 1 head garlic, unpeeled
* 3 ribs celery, with tops
* 4 sprigs parsley
* 2 tsp. salt or tamari soy sauce
* Sprigs of fresh or dried herbs; oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, etc.
* 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (available in bulk at natural food stores)
* 1 tbsp. white miso (use brown or red for a bolder flavor)
1. In a stock pot, combine all ingredients except nutritional yeast and miso. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 2 hours. Allow stock to cool, then strain and throw the solids on the compost heap. Whisk in nutritional yeast and miso. (Miso contains live enzymes, so it should not be boiled). Use immediately, refrigerate, or freeze. Yields about 7 cups.
Basic Vegetable Stock/base #2
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 large onion
* 2 stalks celery, including some leaves
* 2 large carrots
* 1 bunch green onions, chopped
* 8 cloves garlic, minced
* 8 sprigs fresh parsley
* 6 sprigs fresh thyme
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 quarts water
1. Chop scrubbed vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Remember, the greater the surface area, the more quickly vegetables will yield their flavor.
2. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, scallions, garlic, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add salt and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain. Discard vegetables.
4. Other ingredients to consider:
asparagus (butt ends),
fennel (stalks and trimmings),
bell peppers cores,
pea pods and shells,
chard (stems and leaves),
celery root parings,
marjoram (stems and leaves),
potato parings . . .
Yeah .Keep the stock pot on the back of the stove
like your mother did and throw in all of your
vegstable trimmings for the flavor .