Make Soup In Your Blender When You Can't Deal With Anything Anymore

If you have some vegetables nearing the end of their shelf life, cook 'em and blend 'em.

Roasted Carrot Soup with Fresh Cheese and Black Bread Recipe
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

In the late spring of 2020, after a few months of sheltering in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I remember settling into a fitful cooking routine. Some days I had a lot of energy and made labor-intensive dishes like a fancy woven lasagna, or scallion pancakes, or some other meal that's as much a fun project to make as it is dinner. But every three days or so, I would be too overwhelmed and anxious to do more than gather cheese and crackers, or eat a spoonful of peanut butter from the jar for "lunch." Somewhere in the course of those endless months, I started relying heavily on my blender for those days.

Why a blender? Because if you have vegetables kicking around in your refrigerator that are nearing the end of their lifespan, they can easily be turned into soup. This Lithuanian roasted carrot soup has some delicious accessories — the Baltic bread and fresh cheese curds — but at its heart, it's just a simple, delicious blender soup. You roast the carrots, saute some onion, add some broth, and throw the whole thing in the blender. Voila: soup.

The basic format works really well with many vegetables. Leeks, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, parsnips, turnips — all of those make great soup. (In fact, we have a whole list of blender soup recipes, depending on what you have on hand.) Just cook them first, sauté some aromatics, throw them in the blender with some seasoning and stock, and you have soup. It's easy, it's fast, and it pairs well with that loaf of sourdough you might have made the other day. (Or if you have bread that's going stale: croutons!) In the summer, it's a handy trick too, to make cold soups like gazpacho without turning on the oven.

If you don't have a countertop blender, an immersion blender will work too: just transfer everything to a big pot and blend in there. And if you happen to have a fancy blender like a Vitamix, I have extra good news: If you blend the vegetables at the highest setting, it'll sufficiently warm the soup that you can pour it straight from the blender into a bowl and eat it. If you have the energy and the supplies, top it with some herbs, or maybe a dollop of sour cream or goat cheese. If you don't, drink it from a mug, that works too. If you have more soup than you can eat now, it freezes really well, too, and in the future, exhausted you will be delighted to find a container ready to just defrost, heat, and eat.

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