Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe With Cumin
Soup is literally the easiest thing to make. Even those lacking the cooking gene, the poor souls, will be able to make soup. It is great as an entree, as a healthy lunch and is perfect for warming us up, physically and mentally, during the cold winter months.
Veggie soup is probably the most versatile of soups, due to it generic title, and it is a great way to use up any leftover vegetables you have in the refrigerator. Feel free to experiment with any vegetables you may have lying around. Once you have something orange, something green, onions and garlic, then you are almost good to go. Typically, potatoes are added to soup to add body and texture. The starch also helps thicken the soup. In place of regular potatoes, you may use sweet potato. This type of potato not only helps to thicken the soup, but also adds a natural sweetness and a buttery flavour. Sweet potatoes also pack more vitamins and minerals, in comparison to the regular potato.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make vegetable soup from scratch. For this recipe, you just need a few simple ingredients; onions, garlic, potato, carrots, broccoli, stock, butter and seasoning. The cumin is optional, although I strongly recommend it. This popular Indian spice adds a wonderful earthy, nutty and spicy taste and a warm aroma with hints of lemon. I usually add a little during the cooking, and a little more to taste when complete.
Often I crumble some walnuts over the top just before serving and add a little fresh parsley for colour. Both are optional, but I find the nuts add a little crunch and texture to the silky soup. If you don't have any walnuts, you may experiment with any other nut. Pecans, Brazil nuts or pistachios all sound good to me.
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 6 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1cm pieces
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces, may use regular potato
- 1 large broccoli bunch, chopped
- 50g (1/4 cup, 2oz) butter, may add more to taste
- 1 chicken stock cube, may use vegetable or beef
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp cumin powder (optional), may add more to taste
- walnuts (optional), chopped, for texture
- parsley (optional), to finish
How to make vegetable soup
See below for step-by-step method
Note: A medium sized pot with heavy base was used. Approx 1 gallon, 3.8 liter.
1) On a medium heat, melt the butter, add the chopped onions, sliced garlic cloves and black pepper. Saute the onions and garlic, with the lid on, for 10 minutes. The onions should become translucent.
2) Add the sliced carrots and fill the pot, 3/4 of the way up, with boiling water. Crumble in the chicken stock cube. If you are using liquid stock, then add this in place of the water. Place the lid on and boil on a high heat for 5 minutes. When making soup, it is always a good idea to add the carrots first as they take longer to cook. If you wish to use cumin, add it during this step.
3) Add the chopped potatoes (sweet or regular potato), cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes on a high heat. Make sure there is at least 1 inch of liquid covering the surface of the vegetables.
4) To the pot, add the chopped broccoli, cover, and cook for a further 10 minutes on a high heat. Again, you may need to add a little water to the pot, just enough to cover the vegetables. Do not add too much or you will have watery soup.
5) When cooked, it is time to blend the soup. You may use a hand blender or a large food processor. Process until you achieve a smooth and creamy texture. If your soup is too thick, add a little water or stock to dilute.
6) It is now time to add a little more seasoning to taste. I often add more salt, pepper and cumin (optional) at this point. You must be careful not to overdo it and always taste after each addition. Nobody likes super salty or peppery soup! If you are using cumin, be careful not to add too much, as you don't want to overpower the vegetables or make your soup taste like curry.
7) Finally, serve your yummy homemade soup. Decorate with fresh parsley and chopped nuts (optional). The nuts add a little texture and crunch, which complements the velvety smooth soup.
8) If you do not use all of the soup right away, no worries, store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It is also ideal for freezing.
© 2017 David Branagan