chunky root vegetable soup with gruyère + herb croutons

chunky root vegetable soup with gruyère + herb croutons | The Clever Carrot

It’s amazing what a couple of dodgy looking vegetables can do.

Sprouting potatoes, hairy looking carrots, a wedge of stale sourdough… these misfits make up make the most delicious soup.

Take the stale bread for example; it was sitting on the counter for a least a week. I was going to do something with it but it just sat there. As the soup simmered away, I was inspired to make croutons. I ripped up the bread, tossed it with some herbs, and grated every last bit of cheese in the drawer (knobby bits and everything).

I baked it altogether and minutes later I had a pile of golden, cheesy croutons.

I can’t stand grating cheese by the way…

grated gruyère | The Clever Carrotcheesy gruyère + herb croutons | The Clever Carrot

The soup itself is a medley of root vegetables from the fridge.

It’s thick, chunky, and full of parsnips which I am absolutely loving at the moment. They add a really nice (slightly) gingery flavor to the soup.

And so what if your carrots have a little 5 o’clock shadow going on? Thats why we have vegetable peelers!

Speaking of kitchen tools, if you have one of those hand-held immersion blenders, now’s the time to use it. You can puree part of the soup directly in the pot. I do love my regular old blender, but this is more convenient.

And hey, it’s one less thing you have to clean, right?

chunky root vegetable soup with gruyère + herb croutons | The Clever Carrotchunky root vegetable soup with gruyère + herb croutons | The Clever Carrot

With a little love, you’d be surprised at what you can create out of virtually nothing.

I’m ready for you, winter. Bring it on.


  • Can’t stand grating cheese? Let your food processor do the work! Fit the machine with the shredder attachment and let it run wild. Every couple of weeks, I will shred several blocks of cheese at one time. I keep them refrigerated in ziplock bags, or freeze whatever I’m not using.
chunky root vegetable soup with gruyère + herb croutons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Soup and bread- I can't have one without the other! Here, I combine the best of both worlds into golden croutons. I love the flavor of nutty gruyere. It pairs well with the natural sweetness of root vegetables. I blend the soup directly in the pot for convenience, creating a beautiful rustic texture.
Serves: 4
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. chopped red onion
  • ½ c. chopped leeks, white and light green part only
  • ½ c. chopped carrots
  • 1 c. chopped parsnips
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 3 c. chopped yukon gold potatoes, skin on
  • 4-5 c. low-sodium chicken stock + more as needed
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley leaves
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1½ c. cubed country bread, about ½-inch thick
  • 3 sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ c. grated Gruyère cheese
Kitchen notes:
Cut the vegetables to about ½-inch thick.
If you don't have a hand-held blender, puree ½ of the soup with a standard blender.
The cheese can be grated in the food processor if you prefer. Fit the machine with the shredder attachment and process. Every couple of weeks, I will shred several blocks of cheese at one time. I keep them refrigerated in ziplock bags, or freeze whatever I'm not using.
Any sharp, nutty cheese would pair well with this soup. Try Comte or cheddar.
  1. Croutons: preheat the oven to 350 F. Grab a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Soup: in a large, heavy bottom pot warm the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the chopped onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables until soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes.
  5. Add 4 cups of chicken stock, cover, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the croutons. Add the cubed bread to a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add the chopped sage and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Tip the bread cubes onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for about 10 minutes. The croutons are ready when the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  8. Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree a small portion of the the soup; the texture should be chunky but not too thick. Add extra chicken stock if necessary.
  9. To serve, stir in the chopped parsley. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons.


    • Emilie says

      Ha ha… it’s amazing what stale bread can do! I’m lucky they even make it to the soup- we pick straight from the pan!

    • Emilie says

      Thanks Kelly! I think you would like this one, it’s both healthy and filling. And for the record, I would totally trade places with you. I have plans for that pomegranate tree you keep talking about… PS- I’m officially stalking you on Pinterest :)

  1. Pam Green says

    I love parsnips and hate grating cheese too! Funny! This soup looks divine! I have some root veggies begging for use so will have to make this perfectly autumn dish.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Pam! It’s amazing what you can come up with out of ‘nothing.’ I think the hardest part is thinking about what to make. And the great thing about soups like this is that you can make a huge batch to freeze- then you’re really ahead of the game! ;)

  2. says

    I love your tip for shredding a lot cheese, then freezing it! I always have a few pre-measured bags of cheese in my freezer at any given time. It’s a great way to save a little money too!

    • Emilie says

      Isn’t that tip a good one? I forget where I learned it from… but it’s a great time & money saver. Plus, whenever I take out my food processor, I like to do a several tasks to get ahead (and also to make cleaning that thing worth it… ha ha) Thanks for stopping by Anna :)

  3. Margi says

    The soup is ready (and oh so yummy). Just waiting for the croutons to come out of the oven…I cut my bread in thick, narrow slices so we can dip…can’t wait to serve it to my very hungry hubby! It just started to rain. Perfect!

  4. says

    I love the look and sound of this! And I have a strange relationship with our grater as well – I don’t like it, I don’t like cleaning it even more, but it still gets used all the time. I’ll try your food processor idea next time, thanks Em! x

  5. says

    Beautiful soup Emilie, I love veggie soups – also so warming, especially if you already have a dusting of snow!! I’ve learnt to love our grater, as grating tomatoes is a necessary step for nearly all Greek summer dishes. But I’m with Celia, I hate cleaning the grater!!

  6. says

    I’ve got all the ingredients for this one AND the weather is horrible so I think I’m going to make this tonight! Raining sideways with a big, storm on the way, although those croutons are so tempting, I may just end up eating that instead of the soup!

  7. says

    Oh my, but this soup looks wonderful! It is raining today, and even though it is only breakfast time here in Los Angeles, I want this soup! I too love parsnips-a most under appreciated veg, and the croutons look FAB.

  8. says

    I adore this soup. I’ve made it twice in the past week, and I’ve added a couple of my favorite things:

    -I bring the broth to a simmer at the same time as the veggies are cooking and put in fresh dill, cumin, paprika, and a couple bay leaves

    -I added spicy sausage and kale (obviously!)

    -Right after blending the veggies, I added 8 oz of light cream

    -The second time I didn’t have any potatoes, so I added butter beans instead. It was a pretty hearty substitute.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Patricia! Wow- what lovely versions you have come up with! I’m so glad that you liked the recipe. I am particularly fond of your spicy sausage and kale combination, and I’m always looking for new ways to use dill (so fragrant!). Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment. I will definitely try some of your suggestions :)

  9. Suzana says

    I have done this soup today and I added one spoonful of sour cream to every plate. Amazing soup, thank you for the recipe. :)

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