by Sherry on July 29th, 2009
Winter White Vegetable Soup with Arugula Croutons
Soup’s on! 104° or NOT.
I know you are thinking soup!, it’s not winter yet, or least not in Texas. Today I just wanted something easy and soothing. After experimenting with so many things for the blog, I’m tired of eating and just wanted something that it didn’t take me all day in the kitchen preparing and fussing over.
In my married life I have lived in Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and finally in Texas. All the states except Texas have had very cold winters.
When we moved to Iowa in the early 70’s, everyone told us that Ft. Madison, Iowa was considered “the Florida of Iowa” — NOT. That year we had 105 days of snow cover, the kids could not play outside and we were starting to hear doctors on the news talk of “cabin fever”. Never heard of such a thing. But when you are cooped up in a house with temperatures around zero and kids can’t get out, you start to understand very quickly what “cabin fever” is. So on cold winter nights I would cook soup because it was so warm and comforting.
When we moved to Texas 20 years ago, no cold temperatures for sure. I decided right away if I had a yearning for soup, I couldn’t wait until it got cold because that might not happen anytime soon. So, if I want soup, I don’t care if it is 32° or 104°, I’m going to have soup.
This Winter White Vegetable Soup I had when we were in Mexico several years ago. We stayed at an all inclusive resort that had breakfast, lunch, and dinner just waiting for us everyday. Every morning I would eat this white vegetable soup, and again lunch and dinner. I fell in love with it. When we left, one of the receptionist told me that she was dating one of the cooks and she would get me the recipe. I never heard from her.
Years went by and I whenever I thought of it I would search the web. I kept thinking, white vegetables. What could be in the soup — potatoes, cauliflower, parsnips etc. I kept thinking of all the WHITE vegetables I could come up with. Some day I may try adding turnips to it and see what flavor that adds.
One day while surfing the web (and I do that a lot) I thought I would look again. I came up with a recipe that a lady in the UK had posted. It was loaded with white vegetables so after tweaking to my vegetables I came up with this recipe.
So the white vegetables I came up with were potato, parsnip, celery, onion (or leek), and cauliflower. You want to cut all the vegetables about the same size, that way they will cook more evenly.
Use your emulsion (stick blender) or blender to puree this soup. The original recipe said to strain. I didn’t and had no lumps whatsoever.
Stir in the cream, adjust seasoning, top with your croutons (or not) and enjoy.
I think you will fall in love with soup. You may wait until you have cold weather to try it but I hope you will one day.
***BREAKING NEWS**** Like I said above, in Mexico I had this soup breakfast, lunch and dinner. So I just tried it COLD. Delicious. I only had a spoonful, but I think it would be very nice as a chilled soup. I would probably thin it with some vegetable or chicken broth though. Hope you will try it both ways.
Winter White Vegetable Soup
1 c. diced potatoes
1 c. diced celery
1 c. diced onion
1 c. diced parsnips
1 c. diced cauliflower
5 c. stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 c. heavy cream
2-3 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste
Sweat the onions and celery in the butter until nice and soft. Add all the other vegetables and sweat for another 10 minutes, being very careful not to brown them. Add the stock and simmer until everything is soft. If you have a stick blender use that or put the soup in blender and process until creamy and smooth. Finally, add cream and salt and pepper to taste.
Grind the arugula with the olive oil using a mortar and pestle. Toss this mixture with cubed bread. Bake and you will have a delicious crouton and pretty too.
Any type bread, I used a French baguette
Handful of arugula
Pinch of salt
Wash and dry the arugula, put in a mortar and pestle and start grinding it. Add a little olive oil at a time and keep adding oil as you grind until you have a thin oily mixture. Toss this with cubed bread and bake in 250° oven until crunchy. This took about 30-45 minutes in the oven. Use these to top your soup or save for salad. (Next time I make these I may toast at a higher temperature until crispy but not as crunchy as I made them this time.) This was one experiment that’s a keeper.
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