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Making a Creamy Vegetable Soup

(Newsletter Issue #013)


How to make a fine creamy vegetable soup

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.

Pureed Leek and Potato Soup

1. Gently sweat sliced leeks in butter over medium heat until they soften and turn translucent, about 20 minutes.
2. Add peeled and sliced potatoes. Pour in liquid such as stock, milk or water and simmer until the potatoes have completely softened.
3. 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 soup (optional).


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.

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