Do you eat enough vegetables? Do you want to work more of them into your diet? Well, look no further than a nice cup of blended soup! Soups are an easy and delicious way to enjoy more veggies. These soups are simple to prepare, chock full of healthy veggies, dairy-free, gluten-free, low carb, and can be prepared paleo or even vegan….Win Win Win! I am giving you 2 specific recipes but I mix and match ingredients so feel free to get creative too!
The flavor of your soups will certainly be enhanced by the quality of the broth you use. Homemade broth is best, but these days there are some quality store-bought broth options available in jars or in the freezer section. Making your own is easier than you think and a super way to use things like a chicken carcass and veggie scraps you might otherwise toss in the garbage or compost. I have a quick and easy recipe on my blog if you are up for trying it. I also save the pan juices from chicken dishes I prepare and freeze them into cubes or store them in freezer safe containers to mix with a little water and use as liquid in future recipes. Those are super rich and extra yummy…but I digress.
Back to the soups. Here are the 2 basic soup bases I prepare most often, followed by the prep instructions (scroll down), which is the same for both. If you play around a little with them both you will see there are many, many variations you can do.
Silky Ginger Pear Soup
This recipe uses my Zucchini Soup Base, delicious on it’s own, but in this version enhanced by the added flavors of ginger and pear.
Zucchini Soup Base
Wash and coarsely chop the following ingredients…no need to get too fussy about this step. Once cooked these veggies will be pureed in your Blendtec blender so they just need to be roughly chopped to cook through a little more quickly.
- 2 zucchinis peeled
- 2 yellow squash unpeeled
- 1 medium turnip peeled
- 1-2 shallots
- chicken broth or veggie broth
- 1/2 pear cored
- 1 to 1-1/2 inches peeled fresh ginger
Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup
Ditch the potatoes for a low carb version of a classic soup. This Cauliflower Soup Base is super versatile and also makes a tasty sauce.
Cauliflower Soup Base
Wash and coarsely chop the following:
- 1 medium head of cauliflower washed, trimmed, and cored
- 2 large or 3 smaller leeks…white and very light green parts only with roots trimmed off…don’t toss the greens…see bonus tip at the end of this post
- 2 whole shallots peeled (don’t skimp on these, they add a lot of flavor)
- chicken or veggie broth
Instructions for Both Soup Recipes:
Toss all of the chopped ingredients in a large saucepan or stock pot, 4-quart size or larger.
Add chicken or vegetable broth to about 2/3 the level of the veggies. Quantity will vary depending on the size of your veggies – usually 3 to 4 cups for me. I don’t usually measure. The ratio of the liquid to the veggies is more important.
Bring to a boil and then simmer (covered) until the veggies are fork-tender. This too will vary but is usually around 30 minutes. The veggies will start to get a little translucent when they are done.
Let cool until the ingredients can be safely transferred to your Blendtec blender jar. I use a thermometer to make sure. Here are the details straight from the manual: “Do not expose your jar to temperatures over 176°F (80°C). Ingredient temperatures should not exceed 115°F (46°C).”
Transfer all of the veggies and about 1/2 of the liquid to your Blendtec blender and purée until smooth. You can add more of the reserved liquid as needed to achieve the desired thickness and texture. If you end up with extra liquid you can either strain it and enjoy it as a tasty broth, or freeze it and use it as part of the liquid for your next batch of soup.
If you are using the ginger and are unsure just how much ginger flavor you want, scoop out the cooked piece from the saucepan before transferring to the blender. Cut it in half or even quarters and start with a smaller amount. You can always add more in if you decide you want a little more flavor punch.
Season to taste with sea salt…I prefer smoked sea salt for its depth of flavor.
These soups are even better the second day after the flavors have had a chance to really blend, but are delicious right away. I usually serve myself a cup right from the blender jar. They also freeze very well. I pour 1 cup servings into pint-size, wide-mouth mason jars which are freezer safe and they make easy and quick future snacks or sides.
Both of these soup bases are super versatile and when prepared with less liquid can also be used as a creamy sauce or drizzle on top of other veggies like zoodles.
There are lots of flavor options using either of the 2 soup bases.
Mix it up and try adding one of these combinations that I have used in the past:
- Ginger and lemongrass
- Cubed delicata squash and ginger
- Japanese yam or hannah white sweet potato cubes
- Parsnip, peeled and cubed
- Carrot and ginger
- Butternut squash cubes
Get creative and see what new veggies you can work into your meals. I always aim for 2/3 veggies at every meal…yes, even breakfast, which usually includes a cup of this very soup!
Bonus tip: Don’t toss the leek greens! I hate to waste anything and leek greens are amazing chopped, tossed with olive oil and smoked sea salt and then roasted on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until the edges get toasty…mmm.
Guest post by @paleogirl99