The autumn harvest brings the perfect ingredients for making delicious, creamy soups, and with the cooler weather coming on, knowing how to make a delicious soup can be an invaluable way of keeping warm from the inside.
As with salad dressings, using a blender really expands your options, especially when it comes to making soups with a creamy consistency. Blending some steamed squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and/or white potatoes can provide the basic foundation for a huge variety of delicious soups, the extent of which is only limited by your selection of other veggies and seasonings.
I like to add a little cashew butter (or tahini) to my blender mixture, along with sautéed garlic and onion and/or powdered garlic and onion, tamari/herb salt, and one of my favorite seasonings, nutritional yeast. (The following recipes call for cashew butter, because it adds a delicious creaminess without changing the flavor too much. But if you don’t have cashew butter, you can try replacing it with tahini. Tahini is cheaper, but it does have a slightly bitter flavor, so if you’re using it as a substitute for cashew butter, I would recommend using a little less than the recipe calls for.)
Once I have a basic flavor that I like, I simply blend the mixture until it’s smooth and creamy (the nut butter really adds to the creaminess), and then pour it into a pot containing veggies such as garlic, onion, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and mushrooms, sautéed in the order listed.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have too many tomatoes, you can do something very similar with those. Simply cook up all your soft tomatoes, and throw them in a blender along with a little tahini, herb salt and nutritional yeast, and you’ll find that it’s a delicious base for a creamy tomato soup that can be poured over cooked onions, zucchini, mushrooms and even cooked sweet corn if you like it that way. (Try stirring in a little grated vegan cheese… Yum!)
But for those who are more comfortable with specific recipes than general tips and techniques, the following pages contain a variety of options. And keep your eyes open for the other two parts to this series, for a collection of warming soups to see you all the way through winter.
Enjoy… And stay warm!