Another installment in what appears to be evolving into something of a series: "Stuff I Made for Dinner that Turned Out Well."
This is the second time I’ve made this particular soup. The kids love it (each of them had seconds tonight), Jim seems to quite like it, and I’m just a sucker for soup in general. Great for when there are veggies on the verge of inedibility in your refrigerator. It doesn’t matter if they’re kind of limp and schlumpy, because you’re going to cook them into limp schlumpiness anyway. And the cream rounds it out very deliciously, too…
Cream of Borderline Veggie Soup, adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
Serves 4 to 6; leftovers reheat well
Trim and chop 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of substantial veggies. I used broccoli tonight, but cauliflower, carrots or asparagus would all work well too. Peel and dice 1 small-to-medium baking potato. (You can also use 1/4 to 1/3 cup of white rice, but I like the potato better. It thickens the soup nicely without being too assertive in the final result.)
If you’re going to use an immersion blender to puree the mixture (as I was), chop the pieces fairly small, or you’ll end up having to fish them out after cooking and re-chop them (as I did tonight). If you’re using a food mill or a blender, you don’t have to be so fiddly about the size of the pieces.
In a large, deep pot, combine chopped veggies, potato and 4 to 6 cups broth/stock/water (veggie or chicken broth would be OK; I just used hot water with some Better than Bouillon thrown in). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until veggies are falling-apart tender.
Puree mixture, either in situ with an immersion blender or, after a brief cooling period, with a food mill or blender. Return to pot. Whisk in 1/4 to 1 cup cream or half-and-half. (I like to use just a few tablespoons of cream and then half a cup or so of half-and-half. I guess you could use soymilk too, if you’re feeding vegans or are one yourself.) Salt and pepper to taste, adding other seasonings if you like. I think a quarter-teaspoon or so of nutmeg and a couple shakes of hot sauce round out the flavors beautifully. Heat through, but don’t let it boil.
Serve with garlic bread, biscuits or corn muffins. Yummy!