It's that lovely time of the year, when all and sundry, mostly the kids, are coughing, sneezing and sniffling everywhere you go. It comes to us all at some stage, the dreaded lurgy, and we are no exception! It started with my daughter, then my husband and now me. The joy! So there is only one thing for it and that is a good homemade soup! This easy vegetable soup is a lifesaver. One bowl and you will feel so much better, well it works for us.
There is an old Irish saying that goes like this "A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything" well friends, a good soup is the third cure. There is nothing in this world that is better than a good soup, I'm convinced it can cure a common cold or at least help you on your way to recovery. This easy vegetable soup is a take on a creamy Irish soup I used to have when I was a child. In the days when colds were cured with soup.
So this vegetable soup is full of flavour, it's a lovely and creamy soup and most of all it's really easy to make. I have used a mixture of carrots, parsnips, potatoes and peas for this soup, but any vegetable would work well. Broccoli and cauliflower work particularly well. To thicken the soup, I use a milk and cornstarch slurry, I don't use cream as I find it too rich, especially when I have a cold. However, you don't have to thicken it if you don't want to. I just like the comfort of a creamy soup when I'm ill.
How to prepare vegetable soup:
Vegetable soup is such an easy to soup to make you really can't go wrong. However here are a couple of things to keep in mind when preparing your vegetable soup. When cooking the onions make sure that they don't brown, they just need to be slightly soft. Use a good vegetable stock, it's ok if you buy it, just buy a good one. Don't overcook the vegetables, no one wants a mushy soup! Season it well, I like a good amount of black pepper but white pepper is good in this too. Thyme and bay leaf are really good in this soup but rosemary works well too, just use a little, rosemary can be overpowering.
Can I freeze this easy vegetable soup?
Yes, you can. But please be aware the consistency may change slightly. There is also a slight risk that because of the potato the soup might split when reheating. This has never happened to me but if it does happen it can be easily rectified by blending the soup again. Other than that the best way to freeze this soup is to let it cool completely, then pour it into freezer-friendly containers. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw fully before reheating on the hob.
Can I make this vegan?
Yes, you can. Simply use your favourite plant-based milk to make the slurry. I wouldn't use coconut milk though as it would overpower the flavour of the soup.
Easy Vegetable Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion (130g) chopped
- 1 stalk of celery finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots (180g) peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 medium parsnips (170) peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 fat clove of garlic grated
- 2 medium floury potatoes (230g) I use Maris Piper peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 heaped tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 small dried bay leaves or 1 large one
- 100 g frozen garden peas
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- A scant ¼ tsp sea salt
- 50 ml milk
- 3 heaped tsp cornstarch (cornflour)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft about 5 minutes. Add the garlic then cook for another minute.
- Add the parsnips, potatoes, thyme and the stock. Stir well then add the bay leaves and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Or until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Check the seasoning then add the frozen peas. Make a slurry with the milk and cornstarch then stir it into the soup. Bring the soup up to the boil again, stirring all the time, it should now be nice and thick.
- Serve immediately with bread rolls.
- Calories are approximate and are based on 6 servings.
- For the stock, I used a vegetable bouillon.
- You can have this soup without the milk slurry, it will be more like a chunky vegetable broth.
- This soup can be frozen, please see post for details.
- If you have leftover, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. When you reheat the soup you may need to add a small amount of water to bring it back to its original consistency.
More tasty, easy veggie soups to soothe a cold:
- Spicy Cauliflower Soup
- Autumn Squash Soup
- Mexican Vegetable Soup
- Curried Parsnip Soup
- Spicy Vegetable Soup with Red Lentils
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