Though there are many variations and exceptions to the following procedure, these are the general steps for making basic pureed soups from fresh vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, celery, asparagus, and so on.
Time Required: 30 min
- Heat a small amount of butter over low heat in a soup pot.
- Heat the onions and other aromatics (e.g. leeks and/or garlic) along with the main fresh vegetable ingredient of the soup, in a small amount of butter over low heat in a covered soup pot. After a few minutes they should be softened, and the onions should look translucent. This process is called sweating the vegetables.
- Add a dry white wine such as sherry, vermouth, chablis, or chardonnay. Cook for a few minutes, until the wine is slightly reduced.
- Add stock (such as white stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock) and diced potatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables and potatoes are tender and can be pierced with a knife, but not mushy or falling apart.
- Remove soup from heat and purée it in a blender, working in batches if necessary.
- Return soup to the pot and adjust consistency, if necessary, by adding more liquid.
- Return to a simmer. Hot cream may also be added at this stage if desired. Adjust seasoning with Kosher salt and white pepper, and serve with an appropriate garnish.
- When sweating the vegetables in step 2, don't let them brown. The objective in sweating vegetables is to soften them and release their moisture.
- Use care when processing hot items in a blender in step 5 as the hot steam can sometimes blow the blender lid off. Start on a slow speed with the lid slightly ajar to vent any steam, then seal the lid and increase the blending speed.
- Chopped fresh herbs may be added after step 5, right before returning the soup to a simmer.