We don’t get real seasons in Los Angeles, in fact up until a few years ago , I don’t even think we had real restaurants here. We just had fast food joints, hole in the wall places, and celebrity hot spots that served something that looked a lot like real food, but didn’t taste like it. Anyway my point is that despite the coming and going of the holiday season, that brisk winter chill has only just now hit me.
So naturally, I made soup. Which is actually kind of odd for me, because I’m not typically a soup person. In fact, there are only 3 soups I order regularly when going out: miso soup, corn soup, and hot and sour soup. But I didn’t have ingredients for any of those in the house, so I made a potato and broccoli soup instead and it was delicious.
The thing about soups, is that there’s an easy way and a hard way. You can either spend 20 mins or 20 hrs. And if you can spend 20 hrs then you’re soup/curry/chili/stew will probably be freaking amazing. But if you’ve only got 20 mins there are a few tricks you can use to develop enough flavor to get a pretty delicious outcome.
Here’s how I did it with my potato broccoli soup, and yes I’m still not measuring anything, so you’ll just have to use your instincts.
1. Take a Ziplock Steam Bag, toss a couple potatoes and some broccoli in it. The ratios is up to you and your pantry really. But the more potatoes the creamier the soup will be. Don’t cut the potatoes yet, and try to keep as much of the broccoli whole as possible too. I leave on the stalks of broccoli and skin of the potatoes just because there’s no reason not to when they’ve got extra nutrients and flavor. Toss the steam bag into the microwave and heat until potatoes are fork tender.
2. Mean while take a sauce pan, on medium low heat, add butter, chopped onions, and chopped garlic. Remember everything’s going to get pureed later, so as long as everything’s chopped to about the same size so it can cook evenly, the size of the chop really doesn’t matter. Stir often so the garlic doesn’t burn while the onions become translucent.
3. In another sauce pan, heat up some reduced/no salt veggie broth.
4. Chop up the contents of your steam bag, and add them to the sauce pan, turn the heat on low and stir for a min or two just to allow the flavors to muddle a bit.
5. Add some broth into the pan. Usually just enough broth to cover the mixture works well, but you may want to add a little less than that. That way if the soup gets too salty you can just add hot water and you can still control the creaminess.
6. Turn the heat up and simmer. Like I said the longer it simmers the better, but this is a pretty simple soup so some where between 5-15 mins should be just fine.
7. Take the pan off the heat, and use an immersion blender or a regular blender, to puree the soup. But be careful, because when hot stuff splatters it hurts. If you want a thinner soup, add hot water. If you want a creamier soup you can add some parmesan cheese while you’re blending it, or blend it and then put it back into the pan and reduce it further.
8. Season to taste, and top it like you would a baked potato. For me some cheese and veggie bacon.