There is a reason why we are seeing an abundance of subscription services such as HelloFresh, BlueApron, and Sunburst. People need convenience when it comes to meal prep but they don’t want all the chemicals and processed foods that come with ready-to-eat dishes. I don’t blame them.
I think it really comes down to confidence. If you’ve never been taught to cook then of course it is overwhelming to figure out the answer to that age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” The answer usually is (a) whatever is quick, (b) whatever you already know how to cook and (c) whatever you can make with the ingredients you already have.
I believe that cooking in its simplest form is best. It is hard to beat a skillet of melted butter and sliced zucchini with a touch of sea salt.
Today I thought I would chat a moment about soup. If you’re like me, I can spend hours (okay, minutes) scrolling through Pinterest and admiring all the beautiful photos of thick and abundantly overflowing soups. They’re gorgeous, aren’t they? And every once in a while, I will take the time to prep all the vegetables and cook all the meat and simmer a large pot of whatever tickles my fancy.
But every once in a while, I don’t feel like prepping all the vegetables and cooking all the meats and simmering it all together in a large pot. Every once in a while, I like to keep it simple.
This isn’t a recipe post (although a recipe is posted at the end for those who want it). This is a how-to-always-have-a-quick-and-delicious-soup-at-your-fingertips post.
Let’s talk through the ingredient process.
- Butter. Realllllly good butter. My personal favorite is Kerrygold grass-fed butter because it is delicious, smells heavenly, and adds depth to whatever I cook with. Whenever I find it on sale, I snag a handful and keep them in the freezer. You’ll be using two tablespoons.
- Vegetables. Okay, let’s talk about this for a moment. Open your fridge and pull out your vegetable crisper. What do you have a lot of? Is your stalk of celery starting to look wimpy? Now is the time to cook it before you throw it out. Mushrooms needing to be consumed before they get all slimy? Carrots are always a great back-up plan. Turnips? Radishes? Potatoes? You get the drift. Pick whatever it is that you have plenty of. Today I’m cooking with portabella mushrooms. The large ones. I picked five of the ones that looked like they needed to go first and thinly sliced them. Whatever you chose, slice or chop. We’ll be blending them up.
- Sea salt. After you melt your butter and add your vegetable to a soup pot, add ½ teaspoon of sea salt.
- Chicken broth. Or vegetable broth, your pick. I personally like to Instant Pot two bone-in chicken breasts with seasoning every Monday and make several quarts of broth for the week. I never leave it to chance though… my pantry always has several boxes of Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken broth. Three and half cups with do. This soup will happily server four people, by the way.
- Cream cheese. This is what takes it from delicious to OH-WOW-I-JUST-WHIPPED-THIS-UP-IN-THE-LAST-20-MINUTES-AND-NOW-I-AM-SO-SATISIFIED. Two ounces will do nicely.
See how easy it is?
Once you get the hang of it, that’s when you start adding your own signature touch. A sliced garlic clove here. A few fresh thyme leaves there. A dash of cayenne. A dollop of Dijon mustard. A stir of Parmesan. You can even save some of the soup to the side and use it as a topping over poached chicken.
Oh, one last tip…
Blend it up. You’ll thank yourself. You can do this with an immersion blender, a bullet, or an old-fashioned blender. If you like it creamy, blend it thoroughly. I personally like to leave a few of the bits for extra texture.
Happy souping. Tell me how it goes.
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.
5-ingredient and 20-minute Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 ounces butter
5 large portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced and stems removed
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 ½ cups chicken broth, unsalted
2 ounces cream cheese
- Melt butter in medium-sized soup pot over medium-high heat and sauté mushrooms with salt until fragrant and soft. Approximately 5 minutes.
- Add broth and bring to a simmer, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add cream cheese and stir until fully incorporated, approximately 5 minutes.
- Blend with immersion blender, bullet, or an old-fashioned blender.
- Serve and enjoy!