At the end of a long chilly day, nothing soothes a tired spirit quite like a warm bowl of soup! It’s sort of like your belly is being snuggled by a pile of warm, cuddly puppies!
Well, something like that! The point is: Soup is healthy, filling, comforting and simply perfect for cold weather. It’s also a easy way to sneak lots of veggies into your diet. But, sometimes people overthink veggie soup. They try to rigidly follow a recipe and they’re afraid to put their own spin on their soup. It’s time for your soup-anxiety to end! It is so simple to make your own veggie soup without a recipe. Just follow this handy-dandy chart:
These tips work for a slow cooker, but they also work if you want to make a pot of soup on the stove. (If you are making it on the stove, you would let the soup come to a rolling boil, then simmer for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.)
The above graph offers a good starting point, and here are some other ideas that will take your soup to the next level.
1. Add Aromatics
Aromatics are so named because they release a beautiful aroma while they cook. This includes garlic, onions, ginger, celery, or carrots. If you are making an Asian-inspired recipe (like a Thai soup or a curry), ginger and garlic are a wonderful combo. If you are making a traditional beef stew or a chicken noodle soup, then onions, celery and carrots are all winners. But, that’s the beauty of working without a recipe! You can really make any combo you choose. Hate onions? Then nix them. Love garlic? Then mince up a extra clove! Why not? Your recipe, your rules!
2. Don’t Forget The Fat
Yes, your soup needs a little fat to help round out the flavors. You can saute yoBNBBBur aromatics in olive oil before tossing them in the slow-cooker, or toss a little butter right into the Crock-Pot! (If you are making a cream-based soup, butter is a great idea. But use whatever you have on hand! Olive oil, coconut oil, you name it!)
3. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your soup base. You don’t have to stick to just one base. (Ideas for soup bases: Tomato puree, veggie stock, chicken stock, milk, cream, etc.) Pick your favorites and combine two…or three!
4. Use An Immersion Blender
This tool can help you to get the consistency you desire. Want a thicker, smoother soup? Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to the consistency you like. Or, ladle half the soup into a blender and run it for 30 seconds. Then, return the smooth blend to the soup.
5. Save The Herbs For Last
If you are adding fresh herbs…always do so at the END of cooking. For example, if you are tossing in some fresh basil or cilantro, don’t put it into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Instead, wait until it is done cooking and then sprinkle on top.
There, now you have a impressive bowl of soup, and all with no recipe required!