by Cindy Sanchez
Whether serving as an appetizer to a meal or as a meal all its own, cream soup hits the spot! It provides a taste of richness and the power to warm your stomach.
But what about cream soups made with tomato sauce? Cream cheese? Oatmeal? Or how about cornmeal? Are they as rich and filling as those cream soups that start with a milk or cream base? These recipes prove that they are!
Cream of Potato Soup
4 sweet potatoes (about 1 pound each)
9 cups water
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup tomato sauce
4 tablespoons half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cashews (split in half)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45 minutes or until they are done. Cool the potatoes. Discard skin, then put the potatoes into a large bowl. Mash the potatoes for 30 seconds so that they are not lumpy.
Spoon the mashed sweet potato into a large saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. When the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for one hour more or less.
Add Cashews as a garnish. Serves 6.
Cream of Tomato Soup
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 tablespoons flour
3-1/2 cups milk
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
Herbs of your choice, fresh or dry
Dry mustard (optional)
Make basic white sauce with the butter, flour and milk: Melt butter over medium heat; when bubbling, remove from heat, add flour and work it into a loose paste. Add cold milk gradually and whisk until smooth. Return to heat, cook over low heat, stirring almost constantly, until thickened and starch taste has disappeared.
Alternatively, you can do this in the microwave, which eliminates all that stirring. Melt butter on high, about 90 seconds. Add flour, then milk, as above. Cook on 70% power, until desired consistency, whisking every 3 minutes. Should take about 10-12 minutes.
While the sauce is doing, break the tomatoes up into bite-size pieces, then warm them gently in a saucepan with generous sprinkles of sugar, freshly ground pepper, your choice of herbs (basil, thyme, tarragon, dill are all good) and up to 1 tsp dry mustard. When the tomatoes are warm and the sauce completed, add the sauce to the tomatoes, stir well, and continue warming until piping hot.
Dress it up for a special occasion by using about 1/2 cup less milk in the sauce and adding 1/2 cup of dry sherry, white vermouth or sake just before serving.
Creamy Cheese Soup
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded carrots
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 8. oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded Sharp cheddar cheese
Combine chicken broth, carrots, and green onion in a Dutch oven pan and heat on medium heat. In a medium bowl, combine milk, flour, dry mustard, and pepper and mix well. Stir into chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, till thickened and bubbly. Remove 1 cup of the broth from the pan and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add softened cream cheese and stir until blended well and cream cheese is almost melted. Pour this back into the heated broth mixture and stir well. Heat through. Just before serving, add sharp Cheddar cheese and stir until all is melted.
2 pounds fresh spinach
8 cups chicken stock or reduced sodium canned broth
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Rinse spinach well. Remove stems. In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup stock, garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add spinach and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add remaining chicken stock and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and flour. In a slow stream add to stock, stirring as you pour. Cover and simmer over low heat 30 minutes. Puree soup, in batches if necessary, in a food processor or blender. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Viennese Pea Soup
1 10-1/2 oz. can condensed pea soup
1/2 soup-can water
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 teaspoon thyme
Mix soup and water, a little at a time. Stir until smooth. Add sour cream and thyme. Heat but do not boil. Garnish with an extra spoonful of sour cream.
Cream of Artichoke Soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 1/2 pounds artichokes, washed
1 3/4 pints water
1 tablespoon oatmeal
1 small garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Steam the artichokes in 2 cups water until tender, this should take approximately 45 minutes. Reserve the remaining liquid. Allow the artichokes to cool. Scrape the flesh from the bottom third of each leaf and save along with the artichoke liquid. Remove fuzzy choke from each artichoke bottom and discard. Coarsely dice the artichoke bottoms and save to add to the soup pot.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Sauté the onion and rosemary for 5 minutes. Add the artichokes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth with the crushed garlic, soy sauce and salt.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound asparagus tips, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Mace
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until soft but not brown. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and mace. Remove from heat. Slowly stir in the cream. Reheat to a gentle simmer. Serve with chopped egg sprinkled on top of soup for garnish.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 bunch of broccoli
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
2 medium onions
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 cups chopped celery
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
Trim broccoli and cut into one-half inch thick slices. Steam in salted water until tender. In large sauce pan, melt butter and sauté onions, celery and garlic until brown. Stir flour gradually into butter mixture. Slowly add the milk, then add chicken broth and herbs. Stir over low heat until soup thickens and boils. Add broccoli, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer.
About the Author: Cindy Sanchez is the owner and editor of www.PracticalKitchen.com. Sign up for our Practical Recipes Newsletter for delivery of many savory recipes to your mailbox each week. http://www.practicalkitchen.com/subscribe.shtml
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