This soup is magical.
I swear, it has turned soup-haters into believers.
It takes a bit of preparation, but if you put on some music while you chop the vegetables, it will all be worth it in the end of the day. Prepare the ingredients the evening before a big day, then you can put this in a crockpot (slow cooker) for the day and even have company for dinner without trying!
Pair this soup with Perfect Rosemary Buns for an incredibly fulfilling meal!
(Thanks in advance, for your votes in the Instructables Soup Contest!!)
3 medium carrots
1 medium-large onion
2 stalks of celery
4 small potatoes
1-2 small sweet potato
4-5 cloves of garlic
1.5 cups dry soup mix (or a mix of dry beans, lentils, peas and/or rice)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper.
1-2 tbsp olive oil/butter (for sauteeing vegetables, your preference)
1 small can corn kernels
7-8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk/cream (I used 10% Cereal Cream)
3-5 tbsp all-purpose flour
Step 1: Chop.
Here's where the chopping begins. Carrot, Onion, Celery. Wash, peel and chop them up evenly - but don't mince them into oblivion. We want this to be hunky chunky! Get some fresh garlic ready too, because we'll be using lots of that. Chop up a few potatoes, of the white and sweet varieties.
(3 medium carrots, 1 medium-large onion, 2 stalks of limp but usable celery, 4 small potatoes, 1-2 small sweet potato and loads of garlic.)
Step 2: Resist.
Actually, give in. It's way too fun.
Now back to chopping!
Step 3: Measure.
Step 4: Spice.
Here's where your personal taste comes into play. Add spices according to what you enjoy, in the proportions you like! I added two Bay leaves, Thyme, Rosemary, Sea Salt, Fresh Cracked Black Pepper and Cayenne Pepper. They are the only things I will insist on. Put them right into your crockpot.
NOTE: If you are preparing this ahead of time, you may pause HERE until approximately 8-10 hours before your soup should be ready.
If you're going ahead with the preparations now, let's continue!
Step 5: Compose.
Then throw everything in the slow cooker with the dry soup mix, and also add the chopped potatoes/sweet potatoes and one can of corn. Stir it all up.
(Note: leave more room than I did, because your dried mix will expand and make your soup too thick!)
Step 6: Liquify.
Now, you may turn your crockpot on LOW, and cook for 8 hours. You may want to stir it throughout the day, but it is not necessary. You'll know when your soup is nearing completion when the beans are tender and all the vegetables are cooked.
In the last hour of cooking, prepare the Bechamel sauce that will transform this Hunky Chunky Man Soup into Dreamy Creamy heaven. If you are lactose intolerant, you can stop at this step and enjoy it now! Otherwise, read on....
Step 7: Thicken. Enjoy!
The way to test the thickness of the Bechamel, as my friend taught me, is to dip a clean metal spoon into the it and use a clean finger to draw a horizontal line across the spoon. Holding it as shown in the photo, you can see that the sauce does not drip onto the swiped part!
Add the Bechamel into your cooked soup for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Serve this massive amount of soup with hot rolls and garlic butter, and prepare for the compliments to come rolling in! It's a lot of work, but this Dreamy, Creamy, Hunky Chunky Man soup is very very worth it!!