April 1, 2014

Recipe: Root and Tuber End-of-Winter Soup

Roots and tubers soup

Got roots?  Got tubers?  Make soup!

After weeks of snow, vortexes, and overcast skies, though, even I've had enough of the roots and tubers -- the only vegetables at my greenmarket, for the most part.  As much as I love a good sweet potato, I've had it!  Except, we were still having it.  As I've noted elsewhere on this blog, our household gets most of its produce from the farmer's markets.  It's a fun challenge to eat locally and seasonally (though I have in recent weeks dipped into the hothouse greens -- I just needed some fresh leafy stuff.)

Inspired by our winter produce bin, I created this root soup, which is also inspired by my effort to avoid getting sick.  Everyone I know has come down with a cold or "flu."  I've felt fine all winter, which I attribute to my "anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting" diet hacks like large amounts of garlic, onion, cinnamon and ginger.    This soup includes a shallot, garlic, and lots of nutrient-dense roots and tubers.  It's also well-cooked, an easy to eat soup for the sensitive stomach and esophagus.  I'm still doing well with foods that are somewhat softer, more gruel-like.



1 large shallot or a few small shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced and diced
1 large parsnip, peeled, sliced on the angle
2 white potatoes (Yukon are especially good here), unpeeled, sliced and diced
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 apple -- optional (I have not tried the apple addition yet, but initially thought it would work well)

Ingredients for the soup. 

  1. Add 1 tsp oil to a large pot.  Cook over low heat and add the garlic.  When fragrant, add the onion and cover, stirring occasionally.  Cook for a few minutes, or until softened.
  2. Add the sweet potato and parsnip.  Stir and cover, cook for a few minutes until fragrant.  Add a small amount of water if sticking to pot.
  3. Add potatoes and stir.
  4. Add water to cover pot contents by 1-2 inches.
  5. Bring to boil and lower heat, simmering until vegetables are softened and "come together." (There's a point when making soup when the contents of the pot go from being "ingredients in water" to "soup" -- you'll know it when you see it, and you'll probably smell the change, too.)
  6. If using the apple, chop into small pieces and add when you add the water.  (If you try this addition, let me know how it goes.)
  7. If needed:  When vegetables are softened, use a potato masher to mash a small section of the pot's contents.  This thickens the soup a bit and provides interesting texture.  You may find the soup is already "thick" enough, to your taste, in which case omit the masher step.
Serve warm with bread or crackers of your choice.


Mother Nature Network: Root Vegetables 101 Primer

Healthy Home Gardening's article on The difference between roots and tubers

Oh My Veggies A Guide to Root Vegetables

Visual Dictionary: Tubers 

The Good Root Guide (Daily Mail)

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