Cream(y) soup (base) to make for the week?
December 18, 2017 6:51 PM   Subscribe

I've rediscovered my love for creamy things with a soft texture, and I especially love soup in the mornings. However, I don't have time to make it every morning, and I'm not sure if the recipes I'm seeing will keep for the week. So what I've been doing is portioning out Campbell's soup for the week in the freezer and using them as base. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for healthier (ie not tinned) creamy soup base that I can either keep in the fridge for the week or in the freezer? I basically add vegetables for a morning soup.

Aside from pork, I have no dietary restrictions.
posted by cendawanita to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
To make a basic cream soup base, you make a roux (butter or oil/fat of your choice and flour in roughly equal parts whisked over med high heat till browned) then add about a cup of stock for every tablespoon of flour (chicken, vegetable, mushroom, or beef) and continue to whisk until it boils. Next add 1/4 as much cream as you used stock. Let the mixture just come to a boil then lower heat to the lowest setting and simmer until thickened to desired consistency.

I would not keep this in the fridge for longer than 3 days, but it will do just fine in the freezer for the week.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 7:09 PM on December 18, 2017 [8 favorites]

To add to your roux, I would roast garlic, start the roux, and add that roasted, smooshed garlicky goodness, then make all kinds of creams of soups. Yum.
posted by kellyblah at 8:10 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Puréed black beans? I love sautéing garlic and onion, adding the beans, then blending in some chicken broth with a hand blender into a smooth soup. It's great topped with a fried or soft-boiled egg, or avocado--very breakfast-friendly! (You said not tinned but wasn't clear if that was because a lot of canned stuff isn't healthy, or you don't want anything in a can, period.)
posted by lovableiago at 8:22 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

A basic vegetable soup with some sweet potato or other squash and/or carrot blends to a creamy texture, and it's vegetable so will be find in the fridge for a week and frozen longer than you have any excuse to get to that last tasty packet. Carrot ginger soup is blended to a creamy style and very yummy.
posted by sammyo at 8:32 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

thanks for the suggestions so far, keep 'em coming, i'm taking notes! you should've seen my d'oh face when you guys mentioned vegetable soups as bases.

lovableiago, i am ok with pre-packed tinned vegetables and legumes, but i'm trying to reduce dependency on tinned soups because i'm trying to control for the sodium creep in my daily diet, since I already buy food out for lunch.
posted by cendawanita at 8:35 PM on December 18, 2017

Maybe a pureed potato soup? Potatoes, cream and/or broth, optional garlic or onion or some herbs.

Mostly I am here to say I love this question and I am watching with interest for tasty nutritious alternatives to coffee on an empty stomach.
posted by a moisturizing whip at 8:35 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Cauliflower! Here's a recipe for a creamy cauliflower soup that has some butter but is mainly cauliflower and water.
posted by O9scar at 8:36 PM on December 18, 2017 [6 favorites]

Sweet potato / winter squash plus coconut milk is a good direction for "soft/creamy". Coconut milk in general can add that kind of richness and lusciousness to otherwise spartan soups: split pea, carrot and red lentil, etc., though it helps to add it late. Alternatively, blend up some silken tofu and add that.
posted by holgate at 8:37 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Serious Eat's has a scheme to Make creamy vegetable soups without a recipe. It will give you lots of suggestions on how to satisfy this craving.
posted by mmascolino at 8:43 PM on December 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

Another option is red lentils. They will fall apart and effortlessly form a purée on their own.
posted by O9scar at 9:44 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Google "African peanut soup" for the variety of (usually) sweet potato and (sometimes) coconut milk soups you can use to riff on.

My go-tos are broccoli and/or cauliflower with some (sweet or regular) potato, cooked in the Instant Pot with aromatics and creamed with a stick blender. There's also variations on congee/jook and then there's pretty much everything with an egg mixed into it.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:47 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

My high school breakfast was old-fashioned (five minute) oatmeal and whatever last night's leftovers were, and in absence of that, soy sauce / sesame oil / vinegar with an egg. It seems like if you're prepared to add vegetables to soup base in the mornings, you could add it to well-seasoned oatmeal as well.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:01 PM on December 18, 2017

How about tom kha gai? Thai soup with a coconut milk base plus (I believe) galangal, lemongrass, mushrooms and chicken. You could add spinach or other veggies as well.

Another Thai idea: in Thailand, its traditional to eat congee/jook for breakfast - basically a hot, savory rice porridge. Fish is traditional but I like it with chicken.
posted by lunasol at 11:13 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

In the summer, I roast seconds from heirloom tomatoes in the oven with chopped onions and garlic, and then I pass them through a food mill. Voila! Tomato soup base. It freezes beautifully. You could probably do something similar with canned or diced tomatoes - just thin them out with a little water or vegetable broth or a dash of red wine.

One of my go-tos with this is to heat, add cooked rice, some sauteed mushrooms, and a large handful of chopped spinach. Stir until the spinach wilts and top with shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese, and you have yourself a meal. I imagine it would be great to add croutons as well. Cooked vegetables, especially steamed green beans or broccoli are another hit.

You can also turn this into a bisque by adding cream, and a cup of chopped or diced tomatoes. Seafood goes excellently well with this - smoked salmon and thinly sliced celery is very tasty, with or without diced potatoes.

You could also make a curry base - this is really easy. Just saute some onions and garlic to taste, add curry powder or your preferred curry spices (lots of great recipes online - I prefer a milder curry, but YMMY), stir until coated, and add a large can of diced tomatoes (I love Muir Glen Fire-Roasted) and a smaller can of coconut milk, and you have your base. You can add cauliflower, green beans, garbanzo beans, spinach, potatoes, or pretty much anything you want to this base. The tricky part is I tend to get tired of this after 2-3 days, so I try using smaller cans of everything, but even that is a bit too much.
posted by dancing_angel at 11:26 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Second the cooks illustrated cauli soup mentioned above. I don’t bother w the leeks and drastically cut the butter and it’s STILL delicious.
posted by bookworm4125 at 11:33 PM on December 18, 2017

Not homemade, but trader joe's tomato/red pepper soup lasts for 7-10 days after opened if you want some back up for the busy times!
posted by kylej at 11:49 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Readymade Thai green curry paste + canned coconut milk + boxed broth + veggies or veggie dumplings = delicious, easy creamy soup.
You can add fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice to intensify the flavours if you want.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:21 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I did this soup last weekend and it has kept for the entire week without going off in the fridge. I used greek style yogurt instead of creme fraiche and didn't bother with the garnishes and just added everything in one go.
posted by koolkat at 2:43 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is a soup I've been making for the past few weeks that is super healthful and versatile and creamy because it gets puréed. The recipe is a basic template but you can sub in any green veg you like. I've used broccoli, asparagus, baby bok choy, kale, celery, zucchini in various quantities. The addition of white pepper (or I actually use Penzey's Fox Point seasoning, which is a variety of peppercorn types plus shallot) makes for a punchy bowl of green that could be enhanced with whatever soup "topper" you like. Roasted chickpeas? Shredded leftover roast? Fried egg?

Bonus: although I have (and love) a Vitamix for its creamy-making power, this is a soup that gets cooked to a soft enough stage that any old working blender should do a sufficient job.
posted by little mouth at 5:26 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do you have an immersion blender? I find it really useful and easy to clean (mug of soapy water, blend it). If you want fantastic soup, make stock/broth. Use the meat from a rotisserie chicken, then simmer the bones, skin, bits of cartilage and not-quite-meat in lots of water for an hour or 4, more if you're patient. The bones release marrow, the cartilage dissolves, and the 3 - 4 quarts of broth have so much flavor and texture. Some people add onions, celery, and carrots. Make a roux over low heat with butter or olive oil and rice or wheat flour, stir often, and let it get golden. Add stock and let it thicken. Blend well. Then you can add veg - butternut squash and curry is really good, broccolli, sweet potato, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower and tabasco, cabbage and kale, all are tasty, and blend. Make a big batch of caramelized onions, on low heat they can take 20 - 30 minutes, but you don't have to stand next to them. Nice addition to any soup.

Have you tried oatmeal - instant is very creamy, I prefer non-instant. Grits made with broth are delicious with a bit of butter, salt & pepper; people vary on their enjoyment of the texture, but I grew up eating them. I'm not a fan of cream of wheat, but it is creamy. I especially love risotto, and you can cheat by making rice with broth and veg, then a quick zap with the immersion blender.
posted by theora55 at 6:12 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've made Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower soup a handful of times and am always amazed at how creamy it is, by the method, not the ingredients.
posted by perrouno at 6:27 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I make quick cream of whatever soup with evaporated milk, e.g., a can of milk added to a large can of crushed tomatoes, season to taste, and you have cream of tomato. Do the same with frozen vegetables, potatoes, leftovers, etc. Although it's not as rich as starting with a roux, it's still creamy.
posted by she's not there at 6:59 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

The base on this green chicken chili is so delicious. You can add all the veggies you want to it. I think mushrooms would be delicious in it. Add more or less beans to taste. Spinach would also be good in it. I added some (cooked) rice when I heated some up the other day, and it was fabulous.

You don't need to use a slow cooker to cook it either (but it does need to simmer for a while). And because the cream goes in at the end, you can make the base, leave it in the fridge, and add your cream when you warm it up in the morning. It is seriously so good. I've got a batch in the fridge, and I can't wait for lunch!

Or, from the same website, her cream of mushroom soup is also fabulous!

Soup for breakfast? I love this idea!
posted by hydra77 at 10:43 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Soup for breakfast? I love this idea!

I come from soupy-noodles-and-rice-porridges-for-breakfast culture. :D
posted by cendawanita at 7:01 PM on December 19, 2017

« Older Migraines from high-frequency flicker (above...   |   Nemesis is too strong of a word, but... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.