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Whatever happened to soup as a first course? I remember when it was quite common before a family dinner, at a dinner party, or in a restaurant to have soup before your main course. Now the soups served in a restaurant are a meal in themselves and salads have trumped soup as the first course when giving a dinner party. This, to me, is a shame. Not only is a hot bowl of soup a lovely first course, it helps fill you up, making you so much less likely to overeat!
White Winter Vegetable Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons is a lovely tasty winter vegetable soup and is a great way to add vegetables to your dinner. It makes a perfect first course with it’s smooth texture and appealing combination of flavors. It’s simple to make, and can easily be made in advance. As always, feel free to add your own personal preferences. if you don’t like blue cheese, then substitute some freshly grated parmesan. Feta would work as well.
While the ingredients, parsnips, turnips, cauliflower, all sound like this soup would be stinky, or overly aggressive in flavor, it’s not at all. Its very mild. It is one of my son’s favorite soups, since he was 8. I served this last weekend to some friends visiting from Texas, and while they admitted they were not normally soup eaters, and didn’t really ever eat turnips, parsnips or cauliflower, they loved loved loved this soup. Easy to make, adult and kid friendly … I call that a win win!
This soup also makes a great lunch or dinner…just serve more!
LindySez party tip: Make the soup (without the cream) up to 3 days before the party. Make the croutons and spread as well. Keep the soup covered in the refrigerator, heat gently and add the cream at the last minute. Keep the croutons in a zip top bag. Keep the spread, covered, in the refrigerator. Take the spread out at least 1/2 hour before service, to allow it to warm up so it doesn’t break the croutons when you spread it.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and leek, cover and sweat for about 10 minutes. Increase the heat and add the wine, cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Lower the heat to medium; add the stock and water and bring to a simmer; cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese with the butter.
To make the Croutons:Heat the oven to 375 °F. Brush the bread slices with a little olive oil, put on a baking sheet and bake until brown, turning once, about 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and leek, cover and sweat for about 10 minutes.Add the parsnips, turnip, potato, and cauliflower. Cook uncovered stirring occasionally, for a few minutes.
Increase the heat and add the wine, cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Lower the heat to medium; add the stock and water and bring to a simmer; cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.Let the soup set for 10 minutes or so to cool. Puree the soup in the blender, in batches, (take care when blending hot soups); or using an immersion blender. Return to the pot (if using the blender); add the cream and reheat gently. Ladle into warmed bowls and top with a crouton or two.
In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese with the butter.Spread the blue cheese mixture on the croutons and serve on top of the soup.
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