I adore soup - I can eat it for lunch, dinner and I think it even makes the perfect afternoon snack. When I'm not eating out and writing restaurant reviews, or photographing and promoting my own clients' menus I've got to reel everything in... I try to be careful and mindful about what I eat on a daily basis. I try my best to keep the carbs at bay, minimizing my consumption of breads and pastas. To make up for this I need very conscientious about what I prepare and keep in the house. During the winter I live on soup. I love to make it as well. Most - and the ones I tend to gravitate towards - are super easy. This soup was born of a need of wanting something thicker than a broth but not as thick as a chowder. It's low in fat as I've used 1% milk and the soup is thickened with flour. I use a chicken-based broth so it is not a vegetarian soup although it is a vegetable soup. What we have is a soup that is hearty without being rich, that is satisfying without being heavy, and one which is deeply flavorful. Because the mushrooms lend so much to this soup, to remove them would completely change the flavor. Although the soup calls for 2 potatoes I personally don't eat the potatoes but I love the added earthiness, thickness and starchiness they contribute.
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks of celery diced into small pieces
3 carrots cut into bite sized pieces
2 medium potatoes diced into cubes, skins left on
1/2 - 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
1½ cups corn, frozen, fresh or canned
1 small container of sliced mushrooms, washed
1/2 summer squash (yellow) cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 squash (green) cut into bite sized pieces
5 tbsp flour
2 cups low-fat milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups water
1½ tsp sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste (be generous here!)
2 tbs butter
2-3 bay leaves
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent.
Add the flour and whisk until mixed through the butter. (This flour-butter mixture is called a roux)
Slowly pour the milk in and whisk until it starts to thicken - It will get quite thick.
Then add the chicken stock, and water. Mix well.
Increase heat to medium high and add the potatoes into the soup. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir frequently to ensure the soup doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan. The soup will thicken slightly as it cooks. If the soup gets too thick add more water.
Add the cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms and corn to the soup. Lower the heat.
Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste. The paprika will add a lovely pinkish hue.
The soup will be ready after an hour or so. The potato will be firm yet tender to the touch. You may remove the soup from the heat now or continue to keep it simmering on low. The potatoes will start to break down some, thickening the soup slightly.