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Never thought to make soup in a steam oven? A little imagination will turn your appliance into a kitchen wonder and leave boring steamed dinners for dust.
I get asked a LOT about what you can make in a steam oven besides fish, chicken and steamed vegetables.
Today, I’m going to give you guidelines and a simple recipe for something I make often in my steam oven, but which most people never think of: soup. Yes, I could make it on the stove, and in some cases I still do, but there are certain soups which are easier and taste better for being steamed. This one, which I refer to as ‘green soup’ for obvious reasons, is one of them.
If soup’s your thing, I did a video of a steam oven pumpkin soup recipe a few weeks back, too.
What makes steam oven soup better than stove top soup?
Sometimes nothing. If you’re making a chunky soup with lots of ingredients which get added at different times in the cooking process (think minestrone, for example), I feel like it’s not really worth all that opening and closing of the oven and you’d be better off making your soup the good old fashioned way on the stove.
If, however, you’re making something with relatively few ingredients – ingredients which are generally just sautéed a bit, boiled and pureed, then soup in a steam oven is a wonderful way to go. It won’t take you much less effort than doing it on the stove, but it certainly won’t take you any more. And – here’s the reason it’s worth doing – the resulting soup has so much more flavour than if you’d boiled your ingredients for ages in a saucepan.
Less liquid, more flavour
This probably seems obvious, but making soup in a steam oven means the liquid you put into the pot or pan doesn’t evaporate away during cooking. And do you know what that means? More flavour. More nutrients. More yum.
Make sure you don’t go overboard adding stock to the pot here – you’ll likely find around half the usual amount you’d add is enough. Remember, you can always add more liquid and more seasoning, but it’s hard to remove it!
Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon.
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Broccoli, Zucchini and Spinach Steam Oven Soup
- 1 leek large, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
- 1 clove garlic sliced
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 head broccoli small, stems sliced and florets broken into 5cm/2” pieces
- 1 zucchini large, sliced into 2.5cm/1” pieces
- 2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 3.5 oz baby spinach leaves or silverbeet
- 3 tbs cream or natural yoghurt, to serve
- Set your oven to 212°F/100°C, steam setting (100% humidity).
- Put the leeks, garlic and oil in a deep pot or tray. Cook for 12 minutes (no need to cover), by which time the leeks should be soft.
- Add the broccoli, zucchini and stock to the leeks. The stock won’t cover the vegetables; that’s fine. Cook until the vegetables are quite soft, about 20-25 minutes, then throw the spinach leaves on top and cook for a further minute or two to wilt them.
- Let the soup cool slightly, then puree (I use a handheld stick blender but a regular blender or food processor is fine). Thin the soup with a little extra stock or water if necessary and check the seasoning, then serve hot with cream or yoghurt dolloped on the top of each bowl.
- This recipe is a great way to get lots of green vegetables into your diet with little effort, and it’s adaptable to whatever you have on hand. The version below is what was in my fridge this week, I just dressed it up with some heavy cream and a sprinkle of my favourite season-all spice blend, Shichimi Togarashi.
- I used my new favourite deep stainless steel pan to cook this. You could use a cast iron pot or even a regular saucepan, if you can fit the handle into the oven.
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And if you’re after more delicious combi steam cooking ideas, the Recipe Index page has plenty. A couple of my other favourite ‘green dishes’ are the Lemon Roasted Broccoli and the Pea and Broad Bean Crostini.