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How To Turn Any Vegetable Into Creamy Soup

Have some extra vegetables? Is your broccoli starting to soften? Here’s a simple recipe for turning them into silky smooth soup.

Soup is my absolute favorite food. When the weather cools down, I make a batch of soup (or more!) every week, experimenting with new recipes and improving on tried-and-true favorites. I enjoy the entire process of making a pot of soup, from chopping to the final stir, as well as the ease with which it is served. Dinner is complete with a hunk of warm bread.

Here are three additional reasons why I enjoy soup:

1. It’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables.

Are there too many onions and carrots? Is your broccoli starting to soften? Do you have a can of tomatoes in the pantry? Make a silky smooth soup out of them. When I decide to make a pot of soup, I first look through my refrigerator to see if I have any opened boxes or cans of chicken stock. Which vegetables are beginning to wilt? Could any leftovers find new life in this soup?

2. A single pot yields an infinite number of meals.

I keep the leftovers in both my freezer and refrigerator. I can defrost the frozen soup on nights when cooking is the last thing on my mind. And the soup in the fridge can be brought to work the next day for lunch.

Related: How to Freeze Soup to Keep It Tasting as Good as the Day It Was Made

3. Consuming soup may assist me in losing weight.

According to one recent study, people who started their lunch with vegetable soup ate 20% less than those who skipped the soup. Anything that makes me eat less is beneficial!

This easy pureed vegetable soup recipe has everything I look for in a soup and more. This recipe can be used to make a variety of vegetable soups; simply select a vegetable and begin cooking. Here’s the basic method for making a simple pureed vegetable soup, as well as variations for carrot, potato, broccoli, and pea soup, but you can also use butternut squash or sweet potatoes.

Recipe for Pureed Vegetable Soup

Active time: 35–45 minutes | Total time: 35–50 minutes

To prepare ahead of time: Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months, covered.

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or parsley, chopped
  • Choice of vegetable (see variations, below)
  • Water (see variations, below) (see variations, below)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium), “no-chicken” broth, or vegetable stock
  • A half-cup half-and-half (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • To taste, freshly ground pepper

Step 1

In a Dutch oven, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and celery are softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic and thyme (or parsley) are fragrant, about 10 seconds.

Step 2

Mix in your favorite vegetable. Bring the water and broth to a boil over high heat. Cook until very tender, reducing heat to maintain a lively simmer. (For timing variations, see below.)

Step 3

In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. If using an immersion blender, keep the soup in the pot and blend until smooth. (When pureeing hot liquids, use caution.) Add the half-and-half (if using), salt, and pepper to taste.

Makes 8 servings (1 cup each).

Variations on Pureed Soup:

Soup with Carrots

5 cups carrots, chopped 2 cups water

Simmer for approximately 25 minutes.

Soup with Broccoli

8 cups broccoli, chopped (stems and florets)
2 c. water

Simmer for approximately 8 minutes.

Soup with Peas

6 c. peas (fresh or frozen)
1 cup of water

1 minute of simmering

Soup with potatoes

5 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
2 c. water

Cook for about 15 minutes.

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