If you’ve ever had the opportunity to shop the farmer’s markets in France, you might have seen the bags of mixed seasonal vegetables called “soupe.” These bags usually consisted of an onion, carrots, celery, leeks, turnips and a mixture of bay leaves, thyme and a stem of parsley. Your basic soup kit.
As we enter the peak of winter, take advantage of the hearty and in-season root veggies such as ginger and garlic to give your soup some flavor and a health boost. These soups are easy to make with the right equipment and warm the soul, especially when enjoyed with the addition of friends. Click for the recipe.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium organic onion, chopped
1/2 pound organic leeks (1 large or 2 small), white and light green parts only, cleaned well and sliced
1/2 pound organic carrots (2 large), peeled and sliced
1/2 pound organic kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled and diced
1/2 pound organic turnips, peeled and diced
6 ounces organic potatoes (2 medium), peeled and diced
1 1/2 quarts water, chicken stock or vegetable stock (see note)
2 fat slices ginger, peeled. You may add more to taste
1 bay leaf, or more to taste
A couple of organic sprigs each thyme and parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about three minutes. Add the leeks and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until tender but not browned, about five more minutes. Add the carrots, kohlrabi, turnips, potatoes and water or stock. Bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, wrap the ginger, bay leaf, thyme, parsley and peppercorns in cheesecloth. Tie them up to make a bouquet garni, and add to the pot. Add salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons), reduce the heat, cover and simmer one hour. Remove the cheesecloth bag, and discard.
3. Blend the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. (Do not put the top on tight; cover the top with a towel to prevent hot splashes.) Pour the soup through a strainer into a bowl; press the soup through the strainer with the back of a ladle or with a pestle. Return to the pot and heat through. Add lots of freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt, and serve.
Note: To make a quick vegetable stock, cut away the dark green outer leaves of the leeks, wash thoroughly, and simmer in a pot of water with the peelings from the carrots while you prepare your other vegetables. Strain, and use for the soup.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: The finished soup will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator. Whisk before reheating.
Nutritional information per serving: 109 calories; 3 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 21 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 76 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 3 grams protein
*Original recipe found at the NYTimes.