Soup with cream is extra nourishing.
Lunch Hour Lesson #30
I love cream of vegetable soups – cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of broccoli. Yum. But the canned versions are definitely to be avoided. With an ingredient list that includes vegetable oil, starches, gluten, soy, and msg, Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup isn’t doing your body any favors.
It is very easy to make delicious cream of vegetable soups at home that avoid all of these undesirable ingredients, and they’re great at any time of year.
You may be surprised to learn that eating vegetables this way in a cream soup is actually more nourishing than simply eating the vegetable by itself. The reason is that the fats in cream make the vitamins and minerals in the vegetable more digestible.
For example, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and is needed for calcium absorption. Mushrooms are the only plant source of Vitamin D, but without fat to accompany it, the vitamin will not be utilized. Eating cream of mushroom soup gets all the vitamins and minerals into the body in a complete package.
I learned these recipes from my mother-in-law who made them frequently. The basic recipe is delicious on its own, allowing the flavors of the vegetable to come through, and you may add other herbs or spices if you desire. Dried or fresh dill works very well.
It’s more like a procedure than a recipe, really, because measurements don’t have to be exact. They depend on how much vegetable you have. Just follow the steps below.
- Choose and prepare your vegetable. – You will use just one vegetable for the soup. Options that I suggest starting with are: broccoli, mushroom, butternut squash, or celery root (not the green stalks). Rinse and roughly chop about a pound or two of the vegetable. Celery root and butternut squash need to have the rind removed first.
Week two’s learning topic is all about how digestion is supposed to work.
- Put the chopped vegetables into a pot. – Fill the pot with water (or broth or a mixture of the two) to cover vegetables by about 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and boil until the vegetables are soft.
- Take the pot off the heat and blend the soup. – You can use an immersion blender, which is the easiest. Otherwise, carefully transfer the soup into a blender in batches and blend until smooth, then transfer back to the pot.
- Add the cream and adjust seasoning. – Taste the soup and add salt to your preference. Remove one half cup of the soup and mix with one half cup cream, to temper the cream. Pour the mixture back into the pot, then repeat, to add 1 cup cream total. For celery root soup, use sour cream instead of fresh cream.
- Return the soup to a simmer and then serve. – You may also cool and then refrigerate or freeze the soup at this point. Refrigerated will keep for about a week, and frozen will last a few months.
Purchase some organic, grass-fed cream and your favorite vegetable, and make a vegetable cream soup. Let me know what you think of the results!