Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Root Vegetable Soup

For Christmas, knowing how much I like to cook, my friend Ann gave me a cookbook: Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source. It's a great book--it's mostly broken down by season and lists recipes that contain ingredients that are in season. There is also an extra section on "anytime" recipes. The recipes are all vegetarian and many of them are vegan. I still have to go through the cookbook in detail, but I've paged through the winter section a number of times, and the recipe for root soup caught my eye. I'm a sucker for anything that contains sweet potatoes!

The recipe was really, really easy. The only downside is that it took a lot of time to peel and cut all the vegetables. I followed the ingredients list as it says, but if and when I make this again, I think I'll cut down on the number of vegetables, unless I'm making it for a party. I think it probably ended up making 10-12 servings, which is a lot of two people!

Sweet and Savory Root Vegetable Stew
1 tbs. olive oil
6 shallots, diced (I used 4)
2 tbs. grated fresh ginger
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 medium rutabagas, peeled and diced
2 turnips, peeled and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and diced (I couldn't find this at the store, so I use three small potatoes)
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and diced
1 cinnamon stick
Vegetable stock/broth (best to get two 32 oz. cartons--I had only one vegetable one and had to use the chicken broth I had in the fridge)
ume plum vinegar (I'm not sure what this is, but it suggests serving the soup with a couple dashes of it (I did not)

In a large pot over medium heat, saute shallots and ginger in oil for 5 minutes or until soft. Add vegetables and cinnamon stick. Add enough stock to barley cover vegetables. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes.

Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick and gently puree soup 3 seconds using handheld blender to slightly thicken liquid and blend flavors (I ended up blending for maybe 15 seconds). Season to taste with a few dashes of vinegar and serve.

We served the soup with some soda bread.

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