After a tiring day at the bookstore, this was one of the easiest supper I ever dreamed up. I had a limited larder the other night, but I crossed my fingers, heated up bunch of stuff, seasoned the whole and served it forth, and it turned out to be a wondrous soup. It was quick to make, tasty, easy on the wallet, outstandingly healthy, but unfortunately rather drab in the curb appeal department. Food to serve at the orphanage, gray food for a gray, drizzly day. But luckily, Oliver and Company rallied with "Please, Crispy Cook, may I have some more?"
It was a cinch to whip up since I had made a pot of vegetable stock in my crockpot several days earlier using my ever-present freezer stash of vegetable trimmings and had also thrown in several peeled, chunked potatoes for another recipe I had in mind. I still had veggie stock and cooked potatoes in the fridge, as well as some leftover cooked brussels sprouts from our garden, so it only took me 20 minutes to get dinner on the table. I estimate it only cost a total of $5 to feed my family of four with this awesome soup, so I patted myself on the back after this rare alignment of frugality, deliciousness and quick cooking time in my kitchen.
Creamy Brussels Sprouts Soup
6 cups vegetable broth
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups cooked brussels sprouts (about 1 lb. raw brussels sprouts or 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen sprouts, if you must)
2 tsp. dried thyme
2/3 cup sour cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated Cheddar Cheese for garnish
The easiest way to make this soup is to put your stash of vegetable trimmings (carrot and potato peels, celery ends, onion and garlic skins, etc.) into a 4 quart crockpot overnight with water to cover. Add potatoes. Cover crockpot and cook on low heat 8 hours or until you wake up. The potatoes will be appropriately soft and will have a nice mahogany tan from the onion skins.
Cool and throw potatoes and stock in blender or food processor in batches to be pureed. You don't want to cook brussels sprouts or any member of the cabbage family for too long because they are surprisingly delicate veggies that will just slime out and get sulphurous when overcooked. Cook brussels sprouts separately in lightly salted water until done (about 15 minutes). Puree brussels sprouts in blender also.
If you don't have a veggie scrap stash or haven't done the overnight cooking of the following day's meal, skip the instructions above and just go ahead and boil up your vegetable broth from a can or bouillion powder. Add potatoes and cook until soft (about 15-20 minutes). Cook brussels sprouts separately in lightly salted water until tender (about 15 minutes).
Place purees of potato and brussels sprouts into soup pot and heat over medium heat until heated through. Add thyme, salt and pepper and taste. Swirl in sour cream and heat just until hot. Serve immediately with grated cheese on top.
A luscious, if not the most photogenic recipe.
Makes 5-6 hearty soup servings.
I am submitting this recipe for the first November installment of Grow Your Own, hosted this month by Filipino Foodie, Ning, of Hearth and Home. Grow Your Own is a fun foodie event that highlights recipes from home grown, foraged or fished/hunted items, as started by Andrea's Recipes. The Brussels Sprouts are among the lone inhabitants of my November garden plots, next to some forlorn and yellowed asparagus stalks and a few hardy herbs.
Yours truly will be the host of the next round of Grow Your Own, running from November 16-30 and I will be excited to see what everyone is cooking up from their gardens or catches in their streams, all around the world.