Traditionally, creamy vegetable soups were
usually thickened with a roux and then enriched with cream or butter. You
can make a simple light, creamy vegetable soup by pureeing vegetables with
stock, water or milk (Milk is a little tricky because it can curdle when
boiled, but you can stabilize it by adding pureed vegetables). Then if you
like, you can enrich the soup with butter or cream.
To make almost any creamy vegetable soup,
start by sweating aromatic vegetables such as leeks or onions in a little
butter, so they release their flavor, before adding liquid. If you're
using green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, peas or chard, add them
near the end so they don't lose their color. Some vegetables, such as
asparagus, can be cooked in two stages - the stalks simmered in the soup
for about ten minutes before the soup is pureed, and the tips quickly
blanched and add to the soup just before serving. Puree soups with a food
mill, blender, immersion blender, or strainer. Do not use a food processor
or the liquid will run out through the hole under the blade.
Leek and Potato Soup
1. Gently sweat sliced leeks in
butter over medium heat until they soften and turn translucent, about
2. Add peeled and sliced potatoes.
Pour in liquid such as stock, milk or water and simmer until the
potatoes have completely softened.
Puree the soup by working it through a coarse strainer, as shown here,
or through a food mill. If you want it even smoother, strain it again
through a fine-mesh strainer. Whisk heavy cream or butter into the
Pureed Carrot Soup
Practically any vegetable can be added to a leek and potato soup to give
the soup that vegetable's flavor and color.
1. Add carrots or other slow-cooking vegetable when you
add the liquid and potatoes.
2. Carrot soup is better finished by whisking in butter
instead of cream.