The following recipe is one of those oldies-but-goodies I mentioned. It is quite the crowd pleaser. Perhaps the biggest compliment was last Christmas when I made this for my mom at home and she downed three bowls because it was so good. I was so hell-bent on making it that I brought along my immersion blender in my checked luggage. Hey, if it is December, I can't go very many days without it!
There are many variations that you can try with this. The recipe is pretty low on spices, so you can ramp it up however you'd like. A little chipotle in adobo sauce is quite good now and then, or plain with bay leaf and S&P, or oodles of cilantro and Sriracha sauce. You could make it vegan or gluten-free, and it'd still be awesome. I'm notoriously bad at leaving things mildly spiced. When I made it for my mom, I held back as her palate is much more delicate than mine. She knows me too well -- she refused to buy red pepper flakes for me for fear I'd burn her tongue with them!
The cookbook for this is one of my favorites. None of the recipes have disappointed me. Well, the Chilled Avocado Soup totally sucked, but that was my fault on insisting when our avocados were totally unripe. Ew.
Here you go!
(adapted from A Beautiful Bowl of Soup)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. coarsely chopped onion
1 carrot, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (red is best, but green is fine too)
1 jalapeno, diced (I keep the seeds in)
1 celery stalk, diced (leaves too!)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
3 c. vegetarian stock
2 c. frozen corn
2 yukon gold potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
1 c. milk
S&P to taste
shredded cheddar for garnish
red pepper flakes for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the vegetable stock, corn, and potato. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the milk and blend soup to desired consistency.
4. Garnish with shredded cheddar.
To class up your soup experience, serve it with some freshly made crusty bread, and some vino. Last time we had it with this crazy Dry Pinot Noir Rose (I know, what?!), which was tasty and quite unique in color.