Vegetable soup without immersion blender?
September 16, 2013 11:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a recipe for a seasonal or all-season (for southern Ontario, and this week) vegetable soup recipe (potato, tomato, both, other--whatever) that does not need a blender (immersion or otherwise). Do you have any recommendations?

The short of it is: I'll be cooking in someone else's kitchen, and I already have to bring a bit more than I can comfortably carry.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
My standby for this sort of thing is red pepper lentil soup. Spicy without being weird, very very simple, and has recognizable veggies but also a big jolt of protein. Also it's vegan (if you want it to be) which means it's flexible.

1-2 T oil
1 large onion
2 cloves minced garlic (I amp up the garlic)
2-3 t cumin
4 diced carrots
1-2 diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 c red lentils
6 c broth or water
red pepper flakes if you want more spice

- saute veggies in oil til soft
- add them & everything else to liquid
- simmer til lentils are soft

You can also add wild rice or other grains or various other veggies (wilted spinach, chopped kale, small cubes of squash)
posted by jessamyn at 11:58 AM on September 16, 2013 [15 favorites]

Minestrone! this is a really flexible "use whatever vegetables you got" soup, so it's really good for seasonal cooking. You need:

1 can of some kind of bean - cannelini, pinto, or kidney is best
a couple handfuls of some kind of small pasta - little elbows, ditalini, or some shape and size that's small and suitable for soup
1 onion
1-2 cloves garlic
a couple carrots
a couple celery ribs
one or two cups each of as many other kind of chopped-up vegetables you want (it's actually better if you stick to seasonal vegetables, because they all go together)
4-6 cups broth
Optional: parmaesan cheese, or - even better - the RIND from some parmaesan cheese

Chop the onion and garlic up and saute them until soft. Add the chopped carrots and celery and saute until tender. Dump in all the other vegetables, the beans, and the broth (and the parmaesan cheese rind if you have it), bring to a boil, and then simmer about 20 minutes. Dump in the pasta and simmer another 10 minutes. Fish out the parmaesan rind if you used that. Sprinkle each bowl with some more grated parmaesan when serving.

I also sprinkle in a bit of fresh herbs - I choose the herb depending on the season and the other ingredients (sage tends to go well with fall vegetables, basil with summer, and thyme pretty much goes with everything).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:17 PM on September 16, 2013 [5 favorites]

If you want a real veggie soup I like this one.

1. Bag of Frozen Soup Veggies. Most every grocery store sells these. I pick out the okra because, ew, okra. If you like it, leave it in.

2. A Can or two of Italian Cherry Tomatoes, with juice. I get mine at the local farmer's market for like $.89, but YMMV. In a pinch used stewed or diced tomatoes.

3. A can of green beans

4. A can of canneloni beans

5. A can of corn nibblets

6. A handfull of a small macaroni like orzo, elbow, small shells, etc.

I just throw everything in the crock pot and let it hang out for a day.

Another option is spilt pea soup. I start by sauteeing frozen or pre-prepared Mirepoix, (because I got bigger fish to fry and it's cheaper than doing it from scratch. If you like that sort of thing, go nuts.)

Then I season with lots of salt and pepper, add the split peas and the amount of water indicated on the bag, and throw some fresh thyme and parsley in at the end.

No need to emulsify, it gets nice and mushy on its own.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:26 PM on September 16, 2013

I'm with Jessamyn- red lentils are the way to go. I love this Moosewood recipe for a red lentil soup with greens that I posted a couple years ago- lots of spices, hearty and pretty.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:33 PM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you want a smooth textured soup without a blender, I'll add to the chorus shouting "lentils!"

If not, there's nothing at all wrong with chunky soup. Apologies for linking to my own blog, but this is my favorite - Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup. You can bring the spices in a zip top bag, and other than the onion and garlic the rest can be made from scratch or with canned/packaged goods, which you could purchase when you arrive to cut down on schlepping.
posted by hungrybruno at 12:38 PM on September 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

I made one for a largish party in the weekend - it was poultry-based, but one could easily replace the birds with a vegetable stock and some olive oil. Everyone enjoyed it, from small children to grannies.
The vegetarians present had the soup without pieces of chicken in it, but they were not vegan.

I like the vegan version as much as the poultry version, but some people I cook for don't feel vegan food is filling enough.

This recipe is for around 12 adults, but I learnt it from a teacher at my daughter's kindergarten - he made it on a campfire for her 5th birthday!

1 chicken or the equivalent in chicken legs
1/duck or 2 duck legs

1 large yellow onion
2 shallots
1 thick leek (or 2 thin ones)
1/2 bulb garlic (4-6 cloves)
1 whole celery - root with stalks
1 parsley root
2 red beets
200 g potatoes
2 zuccini
1 large fennel bulb with the leaves on

a bouquet garni made of anything available - thyme and parsley are obvious, but don't be scared to add anything else - this is a rich soup.

white pepper
chili powder or chopped
cilantro dry powder (optional)

A good fruity vinegar (I used a cider vinegar. A sherry vinegar or a balsamico would be good too)

(maybe the juice of half a lemon)

1: chop up the veggies in not too big bite-sized pieces (garlic and leeks in tiny pieces, though). This is the important part. Because you aren't blending, you want the pieces to look good in the soup, and be easy to eat. Apart from the garlic and leeks, the pieces should be similar in size and shape. The size and shape will make a difference for the cooking time. Very small pieces take an age to cut, but cook in shorter time.

2: cut up the poultry in 8 parts if whole, or halve the legs. Brown the pieces well in their own fat.
(alt.: warm up some olive oil in a deep, heavy pot)

3: when the pieces of poultry are golden and the fat is melted, add all the vegetables at once and stir well, until they are all slightly sautéed and the soft vegetables have released their juices.

4. add water/vegetable stock to cover well, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat so the soup only simmers

5: skim the soup, also removing as much fat/oil as you can, then add herbs

6: add spices. I couldn't do this in the weekend, but it is very nice to heat up the spices in a small amount of oil before adding to the soup, Indian style. I make it quite spicy, even for children/timid eaters, and it seems to work fine, but you are a better judge of your friends' taste.

7: cook for 45-60 minutes, depending on how you like the vegetables

8: add salt and vinegar to taste - maybe also a little lemon juice, depending on the fruitiness of your vinegar

9: take out the pieces of chicken and duck, take the meat off the bones, and put it on a separate dish, so people can choose to take it or not. The soup is not ready if you can't take the meat off with a fork or spoon. With the vegan version, this is obviously not a problem.

If it had been possible, I would have prepared everything from home (cleaned and chopped the vegetables, cut up the poultry, made the spice-blend in a little tupperware box). If you've done that, it's a really easy soup, because almost everything just goes in the pot at once, and that's it.

For a little more creaminess, you can put a bowl of greek-style yogurt on the table, for people to add on as they like.
posted by mumimor at 12:57 PM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like to make curried soups. Sauteed onions, add potatoes and broth, season with curry (use your preferred blend of curry powder, or (2 Tb ground cumin, 2 Tb ground coriander, 2 Tb ground turmeric, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp ground mustard, 1/2 tsp ground ginger). Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add crushed tomatoes if you like. Potato masher will take the place of an immersion blender, up to a point.
posted by theora55 at 1:06 PM on September 16, 2013

Michael Ruhman's Garbure. Adjust the vegetables for seasonality.

Alton Brown's one-pot vegetable soup
posted by slogger at 1:30 PM on September 16, 2013

'Soupe au pistou' is a very fresh and I-can-taste-each-veg veg soup in a clear broth. The pistou part needs a processor or mortar and pestle but it would be easy to make that beforehand and bring it with you. Saveur recipe, Julia Child recipe.

...this seems a long shot but in case you are cooking for a crowd I want to clarify that a vegetarian would not eat a soup that had had poultry cooked in it. If there are vegetarians involved the soup should not use any sort of poultry, meat, or seafood, not even a smidge of it for flavour -- I have never heard of a vegetarian who just plucks chunks of animal out of a soup and tucks in, and that does not mesh with any current mainstream definitions of 'vegetarian.' If cooking for vegans, as for vegetarians, and also no dairy or egg. I may be misunderstanding something in mumimor's post, but mention anyway since veg*n soup-related confusion seems strangely common. Fortunately very easy to get store-bought veg stocks nowadays -- I am also in Ont and suggest avoiding the Campbell's brand, which will have the effect of turning your nice homemade soup into something that tastes like it came from a can. Knorr is very salty but less "processed" in flavour, and the "Kitchen Basics" is the best of the widely available boxed ones. Nutritional yeast is also a good way to add a bit of savoury flavour without adding meat.
posted by kmennie at 2:21 PM on September 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

...this seems a long shot but in case you are cooking for a crowd I want to clarify that a vegetarian would not eat a soup that had had poultry cooked in it.

No worries there! Just a nice, celebratory dinner for two (in my partner's not-quite-unpacked kitchen, with a missing blender). The soup doesn't need to be vegetarian, exactly--I just know he likes vegetable soups, and since I don't like many soups, I needed help with a recipe for the soup course. So starting with a nice vegetable soup (given the answers above, probably lentil!), moving on to a candied maple-walnut salad with cheese, then the chicken main course, then dessert (fresh-baked cookies).

Thank you all for the suggestions. I'll be shopping tomorrow and cooking Wednesday, and will certainly be using one of the answers here!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:51 PM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

It looks like you have plenty of ideas now, but for future reference, if you need to blend a soup and don't have a blender available, you can get a very good approximation by pressing it through a sieve. Even mashing with a potato masher does a reasonable job (though not as good as the sieve option). I did this for a huge pot of soup once (to feed 30 people) when I discovered that the catering kitchen we were using had no blender. It took about 15 minutes to get that much soup through a (giant) sieve, but it worked out really well.
posted by lollusc at 6:52 PM on September 16, 2013

[This is a soup recipe thread folks, not talking about vegetarians.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:03 AM on September 17, 2013

'Soupe au pistou' is a very fresh and I-can-taste-each-veg veg soup in a clear broth. The pistou part needs a processor or mortar and pestle but it would be easy to make that beforehand and bring it with you.

For the record, "soupe au pistou" is very, very similar to the minestrone "formula" I mentioned above - I've made both, and they're pretty much the same recipe. Just that the flavors in one are more French-influenced, and the other more Italian-influenced.

Also, if you are uneasy/don't want to bother making pistou from scratch, you can totally get away with using pre-made pesto because it's practically the same thing. If you want it to be more like pistou then about half a chopped tomato to the pesto.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:43 AM on September 17, 2013

jessamyn, I made that red pepper lentil soup tonight (except for some inexplicable reason the grocery store was out of red bell peppers so it was more of an orange pepper lentil soup) and it was DE-licious. Thank you for the recipe.
posted by komara at 7:53 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

« Older How to avoid training a competitor   |   What Other Chicago Neighborhoods Are Most Like... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.