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Healthy Creamy Soup Base Recipe
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth, regular or low-sodium
- 4 medium potatoes; Yukon Gold, California White and red-skinned potatoes are all good, peeled and cut in chunks
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1-2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium or 6 baby carrots, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 4-6 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ tsp. white or black pepper
- 1 6-0z can evaporated milk (not condensed milk, which is sweet)
- In the skillet, briefly sauté the onion, celery and carrots, garlic and parsley over medium heat till vegetables are coated with oil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and continue simmering until the onions and celery are translucent but not browned. Put the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the soup pot and add peeled potatoes cut in chunks and the broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately lower the heat to medium/low. Cover the pot and simmer until potatoes are soft. Using a jar-style or immersible blender, blend the potatoes and liquid while still warm, and stir in evaporated milk. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
For each 2 cups of base, add 1 cup previously cooked vegetables and seasonings.
Some good combinations:
Broccoli and a pinch of curry powder. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds.
Carrots with a pinch of dill, cumin or celery seed. Garnish with more dill or parsley.
Corn kernels and chopped sweet red bell pepper, with a pinch of cumin or smoked paprika. Garnish with a little parmesan cheese.
Chard, spinach or kale, seasoned with 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with grated lemon peel.
Peeled broccoli stems or asparagus stalks (all but the woodiest parts). Our grandmothers made delicious waste-not-want-not soups from the parts of vegetables we sometimes discard. Garnish with a sprinkling of curry powder or paprika.
FAST MAIN DISH SOUPS
slices of bacon, sautéed and chopped, 2 can minced clams and a heavy pinch of seafood seasoning (like Old Bay). Garnish with parsley.
oz. finely diced ham, shredded greens, ½ tsp. Cajun seasoning and a dash of hot sauce. Top with chopped scallion.
Equal amounts of diced leftover chicken and corn kernels. Top with chopped parsley and a thin curl of butter.
Freeze extra soup base and thaw overnight in the refrigerator for your version of a hearty creamy winter soup.
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