First step in recipe: Throw a party
There’s one at every party, a crudités platter, beautifully cut-up vegetables, arranged in vibrant color swaths, decorated with herbs and little treats. Sometimes, depending on what else is available, it even gets eaten!
Always some left over
However, usually there are lots left over, especially if a large bowl of potato chips happen to be positioned nearby, sharing the herb dip.
The tasty day after
Thus, over the years I have developed my Day After the Party Platter Soup. It’s pretty simple, not really a recipe at all, and the results have been some marvelous and healthful soups along the way. The day after a party of indulgence, this soup is a digestive relief, and it’s become a standard in our house!
Pecking, or rather picking order
March winter is dragging on, today we are in the middle of a Nor’easter!. So, tired of this season, we had a party over the weekend, and put out quite a spread. As predicted, the crudités platter was nibbled on only after the stuffed mushrooms, ginger noodles, and lobster mac and cheese were well sampled. The Bee’s Knees cocktails also kept us quite occupied. Left over were piles of cauliflower, pink winter radishes, radicchio, Belgium endive, rainbow carrots, asparagus spears, and some colorful peppers. Precious produce, but the crab cakes kept many occupied.
From the sidelines to main attraction
The next evening, after a left-overs brunch and little nibbles during the day, the party platter veggies asked me to do something with them since they felt a bit neglected. So I enlisted them into soup service, garnished it with scallions and croutons made from day-old baguettes, and the remains of the creamy horseradish sauce we used for the gleefully consumed shrimp. The sauce really livened up the soup, and I think I’ll remember to use this condiment to top a veggie soup even if I haven’t had a party.
Soupe de Crudités
- 1 to 3 quarts of assorted leftover vegetables depending on how much brie and shrimp were served at the same party
- 1 large onion
- 1 quart or so of stock from the freezer, or just plain water
- Any herbs and spices you like
- A handful of scallions or croutons
- 1 cup or so of yoghurt- or sour-cream based herb dip if you have it
- A bit of milk, cream, or other plant milks
- Creamy horseradish sauce, or tomato-based horseradish sauce (I’d also add some shrimp here, but there usually is none left over)
First, throw a party and at that party have a lovely crudites platter.
Next day, take all the leftover vegetables and place in a large pot along with an onion. if you have any energy left, you can toss all the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast them first. But only if you have the energy and don’t care about yet another dirty another pan.
Add a quart of stock and enough water to cover the vegetables, or use just water. Add whatever spices and herbs you like. For this version, I used 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. cardamon, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and grated a little knob of ginger. Salt and pepper to taste of course.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until everything is tender.
Remove from the heat and blend or puree any way you like. I used a stick immersion blender. Add a little of something white to make it look and taste creamy, I used skim milk, and I also tossed in the last of the yoghurt based herb dip I had tucked in the refrigerator but didn’t need!
Place in warm bowls and to with homemade croutons or scallions, and a drizzle of horseradish sauce.
Put on some Miles Davis and relax.
Horseradish sauce: Combine 1 pint of low-fat sour cream with 2 heaping tablespoons of prepared horseradish, a tablespoon of ketchup, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and salt to taste. Adjust the horseradish to your own preference. Great on shrimp, fish, or drizzled over vegetable soup!
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