I love soup. My husband does not. He likes it okay, but he considers it to be mainly a side dish, whereas I would happily eat soup for dinner most nights of the week, particularly if it is accompanied by some nice, crusty bread. Still, despite his anti-soup-as-main-dish bias, I can usually get away with one day a week where the main course is in liquid form. I also use a side of grilled cheese as a selling point.
But all that is about to change. Once the weather officially becomes summer, which here in DC should be in the next week or so, soup is officially off the menu. I understand that, I do. Who wants to eat hot soup on a hot day? As for cold soups, well, not so much. I can’t really refute the argument that gazpacho is basically like eating salsa with a spoon.
Nature has given me a few cold and rainy days these past few weeks, and I have taken full advantage. My go-to soup recipe is, like most of my recipes, not really a recipe at all. Don’t blame me, though. As you can see by the ancient sticky note below, this one has been handed down to me from my mom.
Just in case you can’t make out her scratchy, water-splotched scrawl, I will give you my interpretation.
Cream of a Vegetable Soup
4 c. vegetables (I recommend choosing just one, to get the clearest flavor. I have made it with broccoli, spinach or asparagus, but carrots are my favorite because the soup turns out so pretty.)
Enough chicken broth to cover the vegetables
1/2 c. powdered milk (or 1 c. liquid milk) If using liquid milk, you may have to simmer the soup longer to get the desired consistency.
4 to 5 jarred jalapeno pepper slices, plus 2 T. pepper juice (optional)
Boil vegetables in chicken broth until soft. Puree vegetables and broth in a blender or, better yet, with an immersion blender. Return soup to pot. Stir in milk and jalapeno peppers. Cook over low heat until desired temperature and thickness are achieved.
Top with crumbled blue cheese.
You can also add spices of your choosing, or a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.