Right now, I'm obsessed with soups. I'm also obsessed with A&E shows about serial killers and murders-for-hire. But indulging in soup doesn't make me start wondering if it really is just trash in all those plastic bags that the neighbors leave outside their door (My God, weren't there three roommates???).
With soups, measurements aren't so exact; more or less of one ingredient or another, or its absence altogether, can be accommodated. Timing is similarly forgiving: there's minimal possibility of burning or even overcooking. Soups use one pot and have few steps. They can be side dish or the main course. They make splendid leftovers and reheat like a dream. Soups use up vegetables that might otherwise grow wilted and sad in the refridgerator while the sour cream and bacon go marching by.
Cream of broccoli soup
From The Surreal Gourmet
~6-7 cups chicken stock
2 heads of broccoli
2 peeled carrots
4 stalks of celery
1 medium potato
4 tsp. dry oregano + 1 tsp dry thyme
~4 Tbsp butter (or olive oil)
1 cup of white wine
Salt & pepper
Chop up all the veggies into small pieces. In your biggest (and I hope it's big!) frying pan, melt the butter and saute the vegetables, herbs, and spices for about 15 minutes over medium high heat, adding more butter as needed.
Add wine, reduce to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Move them into a big pot, and add the stock. Cover, bring to a boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes.
Get out your handy and dandy immersion blender and puree to a thick, smooth consistency. If you use a regular blender, let it cool a bit first. Serve with a spoonful of heavy cream.