Variations of this typical French vegetable soup can be found on bistro menus (and our dining room table) throughout winter in France. At least twice a month, I make a big pot of this thickly blended vegetable soup on Sunday or Monday to reheat on cold weeknights after work. Healthy, hearty and easy to make, this tasty vegetarian soup is like a warm hug on a cold night.
Depending on what’s at the market I’ll use different combinations of vegetables, but I always include one or two potatoes (adds natural thickness to the soup) and onions. For example, I’ll use broccoli, parsnips or turnips instead of cauliflower, carrots or leeks. That being said, we thought this flavor combination was one of the best. Add a little texture and fat with a topping or two: cheddar or gruyere cheese, croutons or pumpkin seeds, herbs or sliced scallions… You’ll need an immersion/stick blender although a regular blender will do (it’ll just be messier and the soup will be thinner).
Six-Vegetable Potage (Thick Soup)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Need: Immersion/stick blender
4 large carrots, peeled and cut in half crosswise
2 medium yellow onions, cut in half
2 large potatoes (Yukon gold for example), peeled and cut in thirds
3 large leeks, cleaned and cut in thirds, dark green parts discarded
1 medium cauliflower, root and leaves discarded, cut in 4 chunks
2 large yellow squash, ends discarded, cut in thirds (unpeeled)
1 tablespoon (28 g) butter or 1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups (1 liter) chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups (1 liter) water, or enough to just cover the vegetables
Salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
Optional: toppings for serving (shredded cheese, croutons, etc.)
Prepare all the vegetables. In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onions, leeks and cauliflower. Sauté for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. This step helps enhance the flavor.
Add the potatoes, chicken stock, water (enough so the vegetables are just covered) and 2 teaspoons salt. Cover, turn heat to high and once it boils, lower the heat to keep a low boil and cook for 30 minutes. Add the squash and cook for another 15 minutes or so.
Once the vegetables are fully cooked (pierce the carrots with a fork to check), carefully drain the majority of the cooking liquid into a bowl or measuring cup and set aside. There should be a little bit of liquid left in the pot, but mostly just the vegetables.
Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of salt and a little ground black pepper to the pot. Using an immersion/stick blender, blend the vegetables until no chunks are left. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to the soup if it is too dense (save the rest for another soup). Serve with some good baguette and your favorite toppings: shredded gruyere or cheddar cheese, croutons, pumpkin seeds, herbs, etc. Reheat the soup on low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. You can also freeze the soup to be enjoyed at a later time.
And bon appétit!