‘Smooth’ Veggie Soup


w4 red pepper & tomato soup

‘Smooth’ Veggie Soup

per person

One of the tricks to a great veggie soups is to resist the urge to use stock or bullion. The key is letting the vegetables speak for themselves. I hate to admit it but I picked up this trick from Gordon Ramsay. I know, people always surprise you.

250g / 1/2lb vegetables
1 1/2 cups water
2-3 tablespoons butter
squeeze lemon juice, optional

1. Pop your kettle on to boil.

2. Chop vegetables into bight sized pieces.

3. Place veg and boiling water in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil. Cover.

4. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until veg are tender. Hard veg like pumpkin, carrots or pasnip will take more like 30-45 minutes depending on how small you chop them.

5. Add butter. Puree with a stick blender until you have a lovely smooth soup.

6. Taste and season with salt, pepper and a generous squeeze of lemon if you think it needs freshening up.


broccoli soup – use 1 head broccoli per person and just simmer in the water. Serve straight up OR top with fresh goats cheese.

cauliflower – replace the broccoli with frozen peas or finely sliced fresh veg. Snow peas, sugarsnap peas, celery & carrots are all good.

mushroom – roast mushies (200C/400F) until brown and soft, about 30 minutes. Simmer as per the recipe.

other veg – carrots, peas (frozen or podded), pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnip.

zucchini – use zucchini as the veg. Great with pesto on top.

tomato & basil – replace the veg with a can of tomatoes reduce the water to 3/4cup per person. Leave in the butter, it’s softens the acidity of the soup. Serve with a handful or torn basil leaves on top.

dairy-free – replace the butter with tahini, coconut milk, avocado or almond meal.

butter alternatives – a dollup of pesto, or serve with a drizzle of cream or yoghurt, curry paste, coconut milk, ground almonds, parmesan cheese, goats cheese.

herby – add fresh herbs as you puree or sprinkle on top before serving. Basil, mint, parsley & thyme are all great with veg.

richer – add more butter OR add in some cream, sour cream or yoghurt after you’ve pureed the soup.

thicker soup – add a handful of couscous to simmer with the veg.

higher protein / more substantial – halve the amount of veg and add 1/2 can lentils or beans. Or used your own home cooked legumes. OR when the soup is pureed, bring back to a simmer then remove from the heat and stir in a lightly whisked egg. Stand for a few minutes for the egg to cook.

carnivore – use chicken stock instead of the water and add a handful or shredded cooked chicken meat after pureeing. Bring back to a simmer before serving.

fiery – add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes.

curry veg soup – add 1-2 teaspoons curry powder per person to simmer from the beginning.

dairy-free – replace the butter with tahini, coconut milk, avocado or almond meal.

water alternatives – vegetable or chicken stock. Canned or pureed tomatoes.

Leftover Potential?

Brilliant!. Will keep in the fridge for a week or so. Warm up in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove top. Also freezes well.

problem solving guide

too watery – next time either use more veg or less water. For now you can simmer for another 10-15minutes with the lid off to help reduce the soup. OR try stirring in a few tablespoons of almond meal or some canned beans or lentils Or some couscous to thicken up.

too thick – next time use a smaller saucepan so you get less vaporation. The good news is this is easy to fix – just add more water!

lumpy – it’s important to wait until the veg are cooked and tender before trying to puree as hard veg will not puree properly. You can keep simmering for another 5-10 minutes and having another go at pureeing. OR just change the name to ‘chunky veggie soup’.

too bland – season with a little more salt & pepper.

Serving Suggestions

Best served HOT. Bread and butter on the side can be lovely.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Joan Garneau July 26, 2014

Throwing in a potato with the veg results in a lovely “creamy” base when pureed.


Colleen McMahon June 14, 2013

Hello Jules
Your approach is fun, delightful… creative, expressive, love the simplicity and inspires confidence that I might too be a competent cook yet – just what I need, and now, to step 1
Am so glad to be a participant in your program..
warmly, Colleen


jules June 17, 2013

Welcome Colleen!


Katrina M April 28, 2013

I used this recipe to rescue some veg from a failed dinner experiment. My husband, trying to be helpful, made a stirfry of a bunch of vegs that were about to go bad. Unfortunately the stirfry didn’t turn out that well and has been sitting in our fridge untouched since the original meal.

So I picked out all the asparagus, pureed it, added some beef stock (instead of water) and tallow (instead of butter) from a previous meal, and grated cheddar into it. Now it tastes like beefy cheddar asparagus soup. Much more palatable.

Next step for that veg stirfry is going to be to pick out the oyster mushrooms and do something similar with them — possibly a creamed soup since I have coconut milk.


jules April 29, 2013

LOVE it Katrina!
Super resourceful…
And love the sound of that oyster mushroom soup


Marla Hewitt April 26, 2013

why do you recommend first roasting the mushrooms?


jules April 27, 2013

Hi Marla!
Mostly from habit but roasting gives more complex and interesting flavours to the mushrooms… and pretty much any soup vegetable.

Feel free to just use fresh mushrooms if you’re short on time.


jules March 5, 2012

Great Trudy!
I wasn’t sure how they were going to come across.. I havent ever seen anything like it.
It’s carrot soup… with cream on top


Trudy March 5, 2012

Jules, I love these “template recipes” and all the variations and suggestions. I’ll be part of my local CSA this summer and really looking forward to using these to cook the produce from my weekly produce pick up.

What is the soup on the right?


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