Smoothie In A Soup Bowl

June 06, 1999|By ANNETTE GOOCH | ANNETTE GOOCH,UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE

A seasonal sampler of soothing, fresh-tasting cream soups is something any cook can appreciate. Make them colorful, nutritious and a whiz to prepare, and you've got the cream of the crop.

Each of the soups below pairs a fresh vegetable with a soup base thickened with nonfat dry milk. Pick your favorite vegetable to blend with the soup base. Thin the soup with liquid milk or stock if it is thicker than you prefer.

Cream-of-Any-Vegetable Soup

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup butter

1 medium onion, thinly sliced, or 1 bunch green onions, sliced

2 tablespoons each: flour and noninstant nonfat dry milk

1 quart milk (preferably whole), at room temperature

In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and saute until softened. Stir in flour and noninstant nonfat dry milk to make a roux; cook until bubbly (about 1 minute).

Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens. Add your choice of vegetable (see below) and process until smooth in blender or food processor. Serve soup hot or chilled.

Asparagus: Remove tough stem ends from 1 pound fresh asparagus. Cut spears into 1-inch pieces. Add asparagus and 1/2 cup chopped celery to soup and simmer until tender (5 to 7 minutes). After processing, add dry sherry to taste (optional).

Broccoli: Coarsely chop 1 pound broccoli. Add to soup and simmer until tender (6 to 8 minutes). After processing, add dry sherry to taste (optional).

Carrot: Scrub 8 to 10 medium carrots; slice in 1/4 -inch pieces. Add to soup and simmer until tender (10 to 12 minutes). After processing, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons dried dillweed.

Mushroom: Replace 2 cups of the whole milk with 2 cups chicken stock or 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) broth. Add 4 cups (1 pound) mushrooms, sliced or chopped, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Cook, covered, until mushrooms are soft (about 5 minutes). After processing, stir in 1 cup plain yogurt. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Pumpkin or squash: Replace 2 cups of the whole milk with 2 cups chicken stock or 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) broth. Add 2 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin or winter squash and 1 tablespoon grated ginger. Cook, covered, until heated through (about 3 minutes). After processing, stir in 1 cup plain yogurt.

Watercress: Remove stalks from 3 bunches cleaned watercress. Add leaves to soup. Cook, covered, for 3 minutes. After processing, garnish each serving with dash of nutmeg and a lemon slice.

Pub Date: 06/06/99

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