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.
This post may include affiliate links. For more information about affiliate links and how they help this site, click here.
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 (and if soup's your thing, I did a video of a pumpkin soup recipe a few weeks back, too).
What makes steam oven soup better than stovetop 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.
If, however, you’re making something with few 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!
Recipe: Green Soup in the steam oven
Makes about 4 large dinner portions.
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 (those of you in my Facebook group will have seen it mentioned in my Facebook Live video about cooking vessels a couple of weeks ago – if you want to be in the loop, become a Steam and Bake subscriber and request to join the group!). You could also use a cast iron pot or even a regular saucepan, if you can fit the handle into the oven.
1 large leek, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 tbs olive oil
1 small head broccoli, stems sliced and florets broken into 5cm/2” pieces
1 large zucchini, sliced into 2.5cm/1” pieces
500ml (2 cups) light chicken or vegetable stock
100g (about 3.5oz) baby spinach or silverbeet leaves (I used spinach)
A few spoonfuls of cream or natural yoghurt to serve
1. Set your oven to 100°C/212°F (full steam/100% humidity).
2. Put the leeks, garlic and oil in a deep pot or tray. Cook for 12 minutes, by which time the leeks should be soft.
3. Add the broccoli, zucchini and stock to the leeks. The stock won’t cover the vegetables but 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.
4. 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.
I hope you’ll give this a go, or use the same idea to apply to your own favourite soup recipes. Because today’s answer to the question of ‘what can I cook in a steam oven?’ is definitely ‘soup’. I don’t think you’ll be sorry for trying it.
Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon.
If you’d like more Steam and Bake recipes and steam oven inspiration, sign up for the mailing list right here. No spam, just an email every now and then to tell you the latest. Plus, you’ll get access to the exclusive subscribers-only Combi Steam Cooking Facebook group. It’s full of people at all stages of learning about combi steam cooking, and I’m in there answering your questions, posting videos, tips and cooking inspiration.
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.