Cooking for One

After having come back from Paziols, where meals were intended for 20 or more, it’s a little strange to be cooking for just myself now. At first, I didn’t quite know what to make, much less buy, so I let my thriftiness get the better of me and started stocking up on things that were super cheap: canned beans and whatever was on sale in the produce aisle, which, in this case, were huge bags of carrots and tomatoes on the vine.

Once I got home, however, I ended up staring at a full fridge and still lacking ideas… that is, until I remembered one of my favorite single person foods: soup.

I know, it’s counter-intuitive. Soup usually ranks with stew and casserole as something you make for large groups, or, at the very least, large amounts of leftovers. However, I have a secret weapon that makes soup an easy everyday meal even for those cooking for themselves: the immersion blender.

An immersion blender turns a simple pot of cooked vegetables and dried herbs into a hearty and delicious soup. I have a basic outline of a recipe: for especially juicy vegetables like bell peppers and tomatoes, I roast them first with an onion and some salt. Otherwise, I just sweat the onion in a saucepan and add the vegetable. Either way, once the onion is cooked, some chicken broth (or water, if I’m feeling lazy) and herbs get thrown in, and after the mixture has cooked down for about ten minutes, it’s immersion blender time.

The immersion blender is a gorgeous creation. Since I’ve gotten back to Paris, all I’ve been doing is trying new combinations for soups, despite the fact that the last few days of summer weather are still peeking through: tomato and basil, carrot and tarragon, white bean and rosemary, black bean and cumin. What are your favorite vegetable and herb combinations for a tasty, flavorful and easy soup?