In The Birthday Lunch, Laverne makes asparagus and Stilton soup and Coquille St. Jacques for her sister. How delicious!
Cream soup makes a warm and hearty winter meal or cool and light for summer. Comfort food always. With warm bread or salad, it’s a meal in itself. Or, as Laverne did, it’s great with another course. I don’t think I’d pair two creamy dishes, though, lovely as both these are. She served them with a dry white wine – that would work.
For a cream soup, stick with one or two main ingredients so that the flavour is true. Asparagus and cheese, mushroom, potato and ham. Unless you have little bits of a lot of different vegetables that you want to get rid of. Then you can call it cream of vegetable soup. In the photo is my cream of zucchini soup topped with slivered green onion.
How to make Cream Soup
(4 servings, adjust accordingly)
Melt 1 tbsp butter or margarine in heavy-bottomed pot. Sauté 2-3 tbsp finely chopped onion, and garlic if you wish.
Add 1-2 cup chopped vegetables. Sauté a couple minutes until they soften. Remove and set aside. For cream of chicken, include chopped chicken pieces in that amount. Make sure the chicken cooks thoroughly.
Melt a bit more butter or margarine in your pot, then add 2 tbsp flour and stir briskly to mix. Cook this roux a couple minutes, stirring constantly, until it bubbles and thickens.
Slowly add 2-3 C milk, turn down heat and stir frequently to avoid lumps and keep it from boiling. Cook until it starts thickening.
Add grated cheese (1/4-1/3 cup) if you want a more robust soup. Sour cream can be added to give more body and a lovely piquant taste.
Put the veggies and meat back in the pot. Mix well and heat through.
Use an immersion blender, or pour soup into blender, and puree. Make it as smooth or chunky as you wish. Put back in pot and add some finely chopped vegetables to give texture, if you wish. Reheat over low to medium temperature.
A dollop of sour cream on top is good. Also sprinkle with chopped parsley, green onion, chives or cilantro, croutons or bacon bits, whichever complements the flavour. Serve hot or cold, depending on the soup.