This fall has certainly not felt like any fall in New England that I can remember. Unseasonable Indian Summer temperatures have left me longing for the crisp bite of a fall morning; those apples I always overdose on in autumn just aren’t the same without the kiss of frost that comes with fall. So I was more than thrilled when the beginning of this week brought cooler weather with it, and my desire for warm soups and wood stoves rose to the surface from its summer dormancy. My meals were inspired by two things; my newfound need for extreme frugality (see my other blog here) and this lovely article in Saveur about the benefits of slow cooking vegetables. I tend to practice extremism in my seasonal vegetable eating; in summer I cannot look at a sweet potato or dream of eating soup, in winter the thought of eating salad fills me with disgust. Over the long weekend I was faced with a fridge of tired vegetable odds and ends; the tomatoes above I roasted and mixed in with pasta and a little Parmesan; the veggie odds and ends conspired to make a pot of soup alchemy so creamy and delicious you would swear it would bring on pounds of winter fat. The good news is it won’t!
Creamy Vegetable “Kitchen Sink” Soup
The ingredients listed below are just a suggestion, any number of combinations can be used. Cooking time is flexible too, I simmered the soup for 30 minutes uncovered, then covered it and turned the heat off while I gave my daughter a bath and put her to bed. When I came back it was perfect, ready for blending!
1/4 cup olive oil
4 shallots or 1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
4 cups vegetables of your choice! (I used 4 celery stalks, 2 carrots, 1/2 a butternut squash)
6 cups veggie, mushroom, or chicken stock
1 inch piece of ginger
Rough chop all vegetables (this is the best part because you will blend them anyway, don’t worry about what they look like!). Heat olive oil over medium heat, saute shallots and garlic until soft and lightly browned. Add all the other veggies and the stock and ginger, simmer covered over medium heat until vegetables are soft. Blend soup with an immersion blender and continue to simmer until soup reduces by one eighth to one quarter. Season to taste.