Quick, easy, and versatile, this soup can be made with almost any favorite or leftover vegetable. It can also be made special by sprinkling with crisp bacon (which you can purchase already cooked and crumbled at the grocery store), croutons, toasted nuts, fresh herbs; the possibilities are endless!
Made in less than 30 minutes, this soup may be served with hot bread (out of your automatic bread machine, of course, which will take you about 5 minutes to dump in the ingredients before you rush off to work), and a simple salad made while the veggies are simmering. Life is good—and so is this soup!
The Basic Soup Mix link is at the bottom of this article.
2 cups water
1 pound fresh vegetables, or frozen or canned (see note)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
2 cups Basic Cream Soup Mix
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place the water, vegetables, salt, and onion flakes in a 2-3 quart saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the veggies are barely cooked through. Drain the vegetables, reserving the cooking liquid. Pour the liquid back into the pan and add enough cold water to equal 3 cups; whisk in the Cream Soup Mix. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly over medium heat; stir in the vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: You may use any fresh vegetable such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, mushrooms, spinach, onions, etc. If using mushrooms, spinach, or onions, sautè in 2 tablespoons butter prior to adding to the water.
OR: Use a 10-16 ounce package frozen vegetable(s), or canned vegetables (canned artichokes are terrific).
VARIATIONS TO CREAM OF ANY VEGETABLE SOUP
Bacon: Sautè ½ pound bacon; crumble bacon and set aside to put on top when serving. If you want extra bacon flavor, lightly sautè the vegetables in the bacon fat prior to adding water.
Cheese: Stir in 2-4 cups grated cheese just prior to serving; stir to melt the cheese, but do not boil.
Nut Butter: Place 1/4 cup nuts (any kind, but hazelnuts are great) on a baking sheet and toast in oven until light tan, about 10 minutes at 350°. If using hazelnuts, wrap in a towel and rub to loosen skin; other nuts use as is. Chop nuts and using a mixer, combine them with 1 stick butter and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or use 1 teaspoon dried). Place a scoop of the butter on top just as you are serving the soup.
Extra Fattening, but Good enough For a First Course for Fancy Company: Stir in 1 cup whipping cream.
Basic Cream Soup Mix.