In the winter, I like to make soup as often as possible. Actually… as soon as there is even a slight chill in the air, I like to make soup. OK OK… I like soup any time of the year. But this winter, I am challenging myself to make 1 homemade pot of soup a week. (We’ll see how long that lasts.) On the day after Thanksgiving, I hosted a small gathering of knitters at my place. What better time to make soup and keep it warm in the crock pot! I spent the morning peeling various root veggies, sauted some onion and threw them all in the pot to simmer the day away. I used a few varieties of potato, which I love, because you can taste their unique flavors in the soup. The potatoes also act as a great thickening agent as they soften.
For the seasoning, I found a bundle of fresh herbs at the market in the produce section labelled "Soup Herbs" they were stacked on a piece of the green stem of a leek and bound with string. Mine came with a red chili, which I left in the soup for only about 15 minutes. I did not want to burn the lips off of any of my guests. I also find that adding a bit of cumin to any vegetable soup really lends a warmth to the flavor. It is one of my all time favorite spices.
This soup also seems to gain more flavor the next day (which is when this picture was taken… I was reheating leftovers for lunch!). One change I might make to future editions of this soup is the addition of fresh green beans.
I did get many compliments on the soup and will definitely make it again.
Root Vegetable Soup
2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered twice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into rough chunks (I rotate the carrot as I cut it, to give it sort of a rugged chopped look)
3 ribs of celery, washed and chopped into rough chunks
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 red bliss potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I used the orange ones)
3 parsnips, peeled and cut like the carrots
3 small turnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small rutabega, peeled and cut into chunks
1 carton (32 oz) vegetable stock (I used a box of Organic stock from Trader Joe’s)
32 oz Water (the same amount as the stock)
fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, italian parsley)
3 bay leaves
1/2t ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Pour olive oil in large stock pot. Add onions and saute on medium heat until translucent. Add each vegetable one at a time and stir to coat with oil, letting each vegetable sweat. Once all the vegetables are in the pot and have sizzled a bit with the onions, add the stock and bay leaves. Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add the water and the fresh herbs and cumin. Serve with crusty bread and real butter.