Sunday, 2 January 2011

Sautéing Vegetables and Cheat's Vegetable Soup

Firstly; sautéing is tricky. Or rather, it's deceptively simple. I'm not quite certain about the difference between sautéing and frying, to be quite honest.

That video helps a bit, but I'm still not positive I understand the difference.

Google to the rescue! Apparently, the difference is;

In shallow frying, the food is turned with a palette knife or egg slice; in sauteing, the pan - which is sometimes covered - is shaken so the food 'jumps' (the French verb sauter means to leap).

That link also tells us that the oil chosen lends its flavour to the finished product. Vegetable oils have very little flavour, but apparently olive oil will give a more distinctive taste.

Anyway; cheat's vegetable soup.


  • 1 Cup of Chopped Vegetables (I used Tesco's 'vegetable soup mix', which includes small pieces of carrot, leek, parsnip, and celery).
  • 1 Vegetable Stock Cube (Quixo's, from Aldi, are vegan, but are so, so salty.  Do not add salt, seriously.  I need to find another kind, or start making my own vegetable stock).
  • Oil, for sauteing.  I used vegetable oil this time.

1.  Sauté the vegetables in oil for a few minutes.  Go on, just slosh it on in there (incidentally, my skin is starting to respond to the treatment of adding oil to everything.  Joy!).  As the nice gentleman in the video says, the oil will reduce a fair amount.

I used a different pan so I could do a few vegetables at a time, in case it went wrong, but it would be a lot easier to use the same one.  However, that may be a bit heavy to keep in motion, so you'd have to use a spatula, which, technically, makes it shallow-frying, not sautéing.  The More You Know!

2.  Add 2-3 cups of water to the saucepan.  I'd go for two, it depends on liquidy you want it.  Remember that the water will reduce, and that you can always add more.

Bring to the boil, and add a stock cube.  Let simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

3.  Serve with bread.  And possibly fortified rice milk, if you've yet to hit your dairy substitutes for the day.

I'll post up a non-cheat's version when I feel like chopping my own vegetables and making my own stock, honest.

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