I’m a soup kinda gal. When people ask how I stay fit for running, I tell them that my summer/spring salad lunches and my autumn/winter soup lunches are partly my secret. In the summer months, I make mason jar salads with layers of veggies, beans, and grains. I can pop them in the fridge on Sunday and take them to the local pool during the week. In the colder months, I make soups. I typically make one on Sunday and then another midweek. I typically prefer them to be vegetarian but hearty. And, while I try to avoid topping them with creme fraiche or marscarpone (using plain yogurt instead), and while I try to accompany them with a toasted slice of sprouted bread (instead of a thick slab of toasted Superlonga from Whole Foods smeared with olive oil and rubbed with garlic), sometimes I just want to reward all of my hard work with some of life’s little indulgences. Sometimes we all should, right?
This soup is a riff on a recipe I read in the New York Times Cooking section. The original version, by Martha Rose Shulman, calls for less garlic and no leek, but I found the soup benefits from the extra flavor. I finish this version off with chopped tarragon but parsley would work well too, and, as most soups do, a drizzle of good olive oil. Be sure to let your vegetables get a nice brown along their edges- that caramel color means more flavor. And, while the original recipes has you adding the veggies to a blender, I had great success with my immersion blender, which also meant less clean up, which also meant a happier me. If you want to keep this vegan, just use vegetable broth and do not finish it with the creme fraiche; it will still be delicious.
What you’ll need:
- 1.5 pounds of carrots, peeled and sliced into medium sized chunks (I use organic, so I can skip the peeling part because I am lazy)
- 3 large parsnips, peeled and sliced into medium sized chunks
- 1 medium potato (a sweet potato works too, if you’re off white carbs!)
- 6 large cloves of garlic (in their skin)
- 1 medium red onion, chopped into large chunks
- 1 large leek, cleaned and sliced into half circles
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Red pepper flakes
- Tarragon or parsley, chopped to garnish
- Creme fraiche, marscarpone, or plain yogurt
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 400
- Place carrots, parsnips, potato, garlic cloves, and red onion on baking sheets. Toss with olive oil and kosher salt. Once oven is warm, place vegetables inside, roasting for 20-25 minutes until the edges have browned.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, sautee leek in about 1/4 cup of olive oil with a few pinches of red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt.
- Once vegetables are cooked, add them to the leek. Sautee them all together for a few minutes.
- Add enough broth to cover everything by an inch or two.
- Use your immersion blender (be careful the mixture is hot!) to blend everything together, adding more broth until you get the desired consistency.
- Salt to taste.
- Serve in bowls, topped with fresh chopped herbs, a dollop of creme fraiche, and a drizzle of olive oil. If you can, place a slice of toasted bread smeared with olive oil and rubbed with some garlic right in the bowl.