I think the best thing a young person can learn before they strike out on their own is how to make soup. Not just because you’ll always be able to feed yourself, even in the days when you might only have one pot to your name, but also because it’s a great way to learn how to balance flavours. Adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that until you get it right is the essence of soup-making and that knowledge will carry through when you move on to master more complicated recipes and techniques.
Some recipes, though, don’t give you the luxury of fixing your mistakes with another ingredient or two. They depend on the flavours developed by a minimum of ingredients in the correct proportion to one another. This week’s trio of soups fall into this category. They consist of stock (or water and bouillon cubes) and a single dominant vegetable, with a little salt and pepper to bring out the flavours. Red pepper, asparagus, and broccoli are the vegetables (though the latter two have a little zucchini in them, as well, which doesn’t seem to affect the dominant flavour of the soup). Additional seasoning is added only through the garnish, which is whipped cream with Piment d’Espelette, cardamom, and curry respectively.
I tried the soups plain and they definitely need the extra flavour boost from the cream and spices. I used Greek yogurt (and this time I checked the label), which worked just as well, I think.
These weren’t my favourite soups from this book, even with the yogurt and spices. I appreciated the intensity of the dominant flavour, but it didn’t make me want to sit down for a meal. Instead, I found myself wanting to freeze these in cubes, as I think they’d make a great flavour booster when my usual soups need a little something. So, I don’t think I’ll be making these again, but the leftovers may be showing up as guest stars in future soups. C’est la vie.
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this FFWD recipe here: Christine’s Simple Party Soups