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…
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?
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.
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.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 c. chopped red onion
- 1/2 c. chopped leeks, white and light green part only
- 1/2 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
- 1 1/2 c. cubed country bread, about 1/2-inch thick
- 3 sage leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 c. grated Gruyère cheese
Cut the vegetables to about 1/2-inch thick.
If you don’t have a hand-held blender, puree 1/2 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.
- Croutons: preheat the oven to 350 F. Grab a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
- Soup: in a large, heavy bottom pot warm the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat.
- Add the chopped onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To serve, stir in the chopped parsley. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons.