One of my favourite things to do when I’m feeling lazy over the weekend (or when I want a super speedy weekday supper) is to cook up a quick pot of creamy vegetable soup. The recipe I use is one adapted from Elizabeth Bard‘s courgette soup in Picnic in Provence, and I feel grateful to Elizabeth for sharing this gift of a recipe every time I use it.
The soup requires a tiny list of ingredients and can be adapted to use whatever you have in your fridge; you simply need one kind of vegetable (courgette, carrot, butternut squash, broccoli and cauliflower are all good), some olive oil, a splash of white wine (but only if you’re feeling fancy – this really is an optional ingredient) a vegetable stock cube and you’re good to go.
The wonderful thing about this soup (besides the barely any ingredients and minimal effort), is how wonderfully creamy it tastes, even though there’s not a drop of dairy in the recipe. Honestly, try making a pot yourself and you’ll see what I mean. It won’t take you long: simply dice up a red onion and chop of your vegetable of choice (I used butternut squash, pre-diced from M&S as I was feeling particularly lazy).
Add 1/3 cup good quality olive oil to a pot and let it heat through, before adding the onion and stirring for a minute or so.
I used the above olive oil; a gift from the lovely ladies at Skittle Alley Coffee & Pantry. It’s delicious, but any good fruity oil would do.
Toss in the butternut squash (or whatever vegetable you’re using) and give it a stir. I’ve become rather addicted to using seaweed flakes in just about everything; they act as a delicious salt substitute and add great flavour when sprinkled over salads, roasted vegetables, scrambled eggs etc. I like adding a generous teaspoon or two to this soup.
I have the Skittle Alley ladies (the fabulous George and Lindsay) to thank again for the gift of a selection of Mara Seaweeds, sourced from the seas around Scotland. To my great sadness, Skittle Alley was forced to close at the beginning of the month (those of you who read this post will know how much I loved it), and when I went to say my farewells (for now – I am sure George and Lindsay will have another wonderful cafe running soon), I was presented with a wonderful gift bag full of treats from the Skittle Alley Shop. It’s very pleasing to think I have a bit of Skittle Alley left to use in my cooking!
Once you’ve let the vegetables cook for a few minutes, turn down the heat, clamp on the lid (leaving just a small gap for steam to escape) and let the vegetables simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Make sure you keep an eye on the pot and stir occasionally.
Once the vegetables are tender, add 1/2 cup dry white wine (this is completely optional; if you don’t want to use alcohol or don’t have any in the house, don’t worry) and simmer until most of the wine has cooked away. Then, dissolve a vegetable stock cube in 1/2 cup of boiling water and add it to the pot. Adding another 2 1/2 cups boiling water and simmer for a few minutes.
Turn off the heat and use a hand blender to blend the vegetables until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then serve. If you have any to hand, add a scattering of fresh herbs on top (I used thyme).
I recommend eating this soup curled up with blankets and some engrossing reading material (I am especially delighted that reading about hygge counts as ‘research’ for me at the moment).
Here’s the printable recipe file for this soup:
- ⅓ cup good quality olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 350g chopped butternut squash (or any vegetable of your choice)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 3 cups boiling water
- ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Mara seaweed flakes (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the red onion and butternut squash.
- Cook for a few minutes, then turn down the heat and put the lid on, leaving a small gap for steam to escape.
- Allow the vegetables to cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove the lid and add the white wine. Simmer for a few minutes until most of the wine has cooked away, then add the vegetable cube dissolved in ½ cup boiling water. Add the remaining 2½ cups water and simmer for a few minutes.
- Turn off the heat and use a hand blender to blend the vegetables until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Do please let me know if you try making this soup, and what vegetable you use. Do you have any favourite soup recipes for this time of year?