A delicious cream of vegetable soup, with croutons. Makes use of your left-over cooked or raw vegetables!
Regular readers of Seasons and Suppers have probably already gathered this, but I hate wasting food! It's almost a religion for me. Nothing goes to waste and I have a bunch of strategies to help minimize what goes in the trash. One of my favourites ways is to use leftover vegetables to make soup. Especially this time of year :)
I freeze a lot. Always in my freezer is a special freezer bag where small amounts of leftover vegetables go. When I have a bit left after a meal, I add it to the "For Soup" freezer bag. When the bag gets full, I make soup.
This Cream of Vegetable Soup is my favourite. Since it uses vegetables that are already cooked, you can be enjoying a bowl in about 15 minutes (or 30 minutes if you start with raw frozen vegetables). It's perfect for a quick, hearty and healthy lunch of dinner. I serve it with homemade croutons, which I make from day-old baguette bits, so I don't have to throw them out. I told you it was a religion for me :)
My soup features corn, green beans, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes.
Cook's Notes for Cream of Vegetable Soup
It makes no matter what vegetables you start with. All you need is 3-4 cups worth (or a full medium-sized freezer bag). Don't forget to add leftover mashed potatoes to the bag, too. They make a great addition to the soup and help to thicken it . If you're someone who has regular bits of raw or frozen raw vegetables left-over (maybe the bit at the end of the bag that's not enough for another meal), you can start another "For Soup" freezer bag with raw vegetables. They'll work just as well in this soup, except that you'll have to cook them until tender in the chicken stock for 15-20 minutes, before pureeing.
Cream of Vegetable Soup
For the soup:
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 cup onion (diced)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 3-4 cups frozen vegetables (raw or left-over cooked)
- 1/2 cup Half and Half 10% cream (mixed with 2 tsp. cornstarch)
For the croutons:
- 1/2 baguette (cut into cubes)
- 2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Add chicken broth and thyme.
- If using raw frozen vegetables, add them now. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes.
- If using cooked frozen vegetables, bring stock to a boil, then add frozen vegetables. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook a few minutes, until vegetables are warmed.
- Using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender, puree soup until smooth. Return to pot and over medium heat, add the Half and Half/cornstarch mixture. Cook stirring, until mixture is warmed and slightly thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- For croutons: Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Add diced bread to a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Toss well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and cook in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times, until golden. Allow to cool on baking sheet.