Soup making season is here! Soup is so comforting, warm and satisfying when it’s cold outside. Last week I threw together this soup because it sounded good. I also have a huge rosemary bush that hasn’t really been used all summer. So, making soups is very easy if you have never made one before. Once you know the basics, you can pretty much create soups anytime with ingredients you have or ingredients you buy. I just made another one last night which I will post soon.
The first thing you need to do when creating a soup is make a roux. A roux is very easy to make and is capable of becoming other things, for example, gravy, sauces for dishes, sauce bases for things like casseroles, macaroni & cheese and soup! A roux is basically your thickening agent because it is a flour base.
What that means is that you can thicken any liquid with it to make a ‘sauce’ for whatever dish your creating. For example, if you make a roux and add chicken stock to it, stir and boil until it is incorporated you will have the base for a clear broth soup or a gravy. If you make a roux and add mostly broth(water) and milk(or cream) the outcome will be a creamy, milk base soup that is white or white gravy. If you make a roux and add mostly cheese to it, you will have a cheese sauce.
Recipe for Rosemary Potato Soup
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Onion
- 6 cloves Garlic
- Herbs (6 sprigs Rosemary & 1/2 t. ground coriander)
- 1/2 c. Flour (I used a mix of wheat/white flour and soy flour)
That is your roux. Add oil to pan, chop onions and add to pan until cooked through or slightly transparent. When it’s almost done add minced garlic to the pan with the chopped herbs and stir until heated and slightly carmelized (3+/- minutes). Garlic and herbs will burn fast and taste bad, so it has to be added last and heated for a short time. Immediately add the flour and stir very fast, chopping up flour and getting it incorporated with the veggies until there is no more loose flour in the pan.
- 3 large potatoes, cubed (the smaller the pieces, the faster is will cook)
- 3 cups milk
- 3 cups water
- 1 pkg ham, chopped (I would use ham cubes if you can)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Add cheese at the end if you like (or garnish on top) *
Once that happens, turn your heat up to med-hi and add your liquid. In this case I added approximately 3 cups water and 3 cups milk. Continue to stir occasionally so ingredients don’t burn and stick to the bottom. I added my chopped potatoes and watched the soup slowly come to a boil. Once it starts rapidly boiling for a couple of minutes and everything is throughly incorporated, you can turn the heat down to a high simmer so the potatoes can cook for about 20-30 minutes. When its done, remove from heat and let cool.
*If you want to add cheese to the soup and it just so happens it a large bag of mostly processed cheese wait for it to cool down. I have found in my past if you try to boil or add processed cheese to high heat, it’s not pretty! And things will turn into a huge clump of gross and you will have to throw out your soup:) Why? Because it’s not REAL cheese, it’s been put through so many processes and had things added to it, it doesn’t do what it should when you try to melt it. Just use real, unprocessed/hard cheese or wait for it to cool. In this case, I used Parmesan Reggiano and shredded a 1/2 cup into the soup. It was ‘oh so good’! And, I had it with my favorite whole grain bread.