Mark Bittman's customizable soups
New York Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/mag...
Has anyone else tried these vegetable soups? The creamy ones looked great, but I found that I had to add/substitute a lot to make them taste rich and savory. I substituted sour cream or Salvadoran cream (better!) for Greek yogurt. Adding cheese (smoked Gouda was great) gave it a heartier flavor, too. It also definitely needed a few cubes of bouillon for flavor, and adding extra garlic didn't hurt. It was best with crushed tomatoes or spinach. There's really nothing a hand blender can't do.
Maybe I'm just too into cheesy-tasting soups, and Bittman probably didn't want to kill his readers with calories. I have to say, the food photography in the article is some of the best I've ever seen...
In general, I find many of Mark Bittman's recipes that I have tried to be under-seasoned and bland. I believe that there are many posts about this, particularly if you search the month that his cookbook was COTM. Many who tried his recipes also commented on this. In the case of his soup recipes, it might be because he is trying to just lay down a road map.