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
37 thoughts on “FFWD – Christine’s Simple Party Soups”
I like how you composed your photo. Mmm, soup!
That’s a very practice way to infuse flavor into other recipes. Did you get around doing it?
It seemed really strange to me that none of the soups included even the smallest amount of an aromatic vegetable.
Yeah, the aromatics are important to me. I haven’t frozen the soups yet, but I’m going to be trying out the flavour cube idea when I do.
Pretty picture and I love the idea of freezing this in cubes to infuse flavour into other dishes!
Good point. I think I learned how to make muffins and cinnamon rolls in home economics class back in high school. Soup would have been much more practical.
Yes, the muffin method was the first thing I learned in Home Ec, too. I don’t remember making soup.
Flavor cubes! I love that idea!
Hey, that’s a great idea, “flavor boosters”!
me too! Love the idea of flavor cubes! I was just going to toss out the leftover soup, but I’m breaking out my ice cube trays now… brilliant!
Thanks, Trevor, Amy, and Alice!
I’m laughing at Rose’s comment, remembering home economics classes of bygone days. I’m sewing today, and everything I learned about sewing I learned, in Home Ec in 7th grade.
The opinion on these soups is quite varied this week. I really liked them, much to my surprise. I think using them to boost other dishes is a great solution though. It’s a great way to introduce a little vegetable flavor from a freezer stash.
I didn’t learn much in sewing class – actually, both our Home Ec teachers were scarily erratic. I’m surprised I retained as much as I did.
Great advice to any young adults venturing on their own. Soup is one of the most versatile meals one can make, and most comforting! Flavor cubes are a grand idea too 🙂
Thanks, Christy! I’m actually enjoying the soup a little more now that it’s been in the fridge overnight. Perhaps I should have let the flavours develop a little more before I made my judgement.
I agree! All young people should add soup to the list of things they should learn to make before being on their own. I like the idea of making ice cubes as flavor boosters. They look terrific though!
Thanks, Renee. They were actually much better once the flavours had time to develop in the fridge.
Sorry these weren’t a hit for you. But that’s a great idea to use them as flavour enhancers.
Gorgeous photo!!! And, I agree, they needed a boost of something…anything!!!
Thanks, Gaye and Liz!
I am sorry that you didn’t care for these soups but that is a wonderful way to salvage
the results. They do look pretty and your photo is a great shot.
Great idea! flavour cubes I love it I am going to freeze the leftovers from the next batch because we ate/drunk all of them this time!!
That’s a great endorsement – yours must have turned out really well if you’ve finished them all.
Great photo and I enjoyed your words of wisdom for young cooks. I enjoyed the flavors of these soups- esp the broccoli one as I am not a big fan of peppers or asparagus. I think I got caught up in the concept of using being able to something with veggies that may be on the “way out” and having them turn out so yummy. Yummy and freezable 🙂
Thanks, Tricia – I enjoyed playing with the filters on that shot. I do like the idea of having a use for vegetables that are a little past their prime, but I think that’s true of soup in general. I like the concept of these soups, but I’ll be adding some sautéed onion and garlic at the start, I think.
I agree that the extra flavor boost from the spiced cream was an important element to these soups (well, at least to the broccoli, which is the one I made!).
I tasted it without and I enjoyed them much more with the cream (or Greek yogurt in my case). Not enough to make them again as written, though.
What an well-written Post. You nailed it, regarding this recipe. And, using them as frozen cubes to boost flavor is a brilliant idea. While I enjoyed making the one soup and learning this technique, I really would rather work a little harder at making my soups and have more depth of flavor. Probably won’t be revisiting this recipe. Like you.
Thanks, Mary! The extra time and ingredients are worth it, I think.
I agree Teresa. These weren’t my favorites either. Excellent idea to freeze the soup as cubes to use in other dishes. I left a comment a couple of days ago and see it didn’t appear. I’m on a different computer and wonder if that has anything to do with it. I also wonder if that’s happening on other blogs. Hummm.
I agree. I won’t be making these soups again. I really like the idea of using them as flavor enhancers. You’ll have to let us know how that works out.
Okay, the only thing I remember learning how to make in home ec was an orange “smoooth-eee” (teacher’s inflection). I do wish that I had learned how to make some more practical things before I was out on my own.
Like the others, I missed the aromatics – so I added cubes of pesto.