With the lull between Halloween and Thanksgiving, I’m looking for healthy, satisfying, nourishing meals that help me detox from all the candy and meat and carbs that we’re inclined to scarf up this time of year.
Enter the humble root vegetable soup.
I like using a mix of root veg since each one contributes a little something different in terms of flavor and nutrients. Oh, who am I kidding? I opened the fridge and thought, what the heck am I going to do with a couple parsnips, a couple of potatoes, and a few sad leftover carrots? Anway, it’s a beautiful thing when the leftovers make something so wholesome and delish! The sweet potatoes bring sweet starchiness and a ton of calcium, potassium, and Vitamins A&C. Parsnips bring fiber, folate, and manganese. Carrots bring carotenes and Vitamin A.
It is embarressingly–to misquote the Lion King–simple, yet satisfying. A couple of pounds of mixed roots in some water or stock, a handful of seasonings, and a whiz in the blender and voila! a tasty meal that the whole family loves. And no one needs to know that it’s vegan AND gluten free!
Pair with a lovely buttery Chardonnay from California.
I use a mixture of root vegetables here, about a pound each, but you can use whatever you’ve got. All one veg, or mix it up and try something new.
If you want to add some protein, garnish with some toasted nuts or even add some white beans into the soup before you puree it.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and roughly sliced
- 1 pound parsnips, roughly sliced
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
- 6 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the onions, celery and a pinch of salt and saute just until tender. Add the garlic and stir briefly. Then add the apple and root vegetables, stirring to coat, and pour in the liquid. Simmer gently until all of the vegetables are tender, approx 30-45 minutes.
- Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. At this point you’ll want to check the consistency. If it’s too thin for your liking, turn the heat up and let it cook down a bit. Too thick? Just add some water.
- When you’ve got the consistency you like, then add the spices and season with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Serve, topped with cilantro and a drizzle of really good olive oil.
And the reviews are in: “Mom, this is the best soup I’ve ever had in my entire life.” Thanks son, and yes you may have another piece of Halloween candy.