Roasted Carrot-Parsnip Soup

 

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Roasted Carrot-Parsnip Soup
Courtesy of Sara Quessenberry, Real Simple
 Ingredients
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a large roasting pan, combine the carrots, parsnips, onion, 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the vegetables in an even layer and roast, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with the remaining oil. During the last 10 minutes of roasting time, toast the slices until crisp.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to a blender and purée with 3 cups water, adding more water if necessary, ¼ cup at a time, until smooth. Rewarm in a pot over medium-low heat, if necessary. Divide among individual bowls and serve with the olive oil toast.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

When we do cooking demos at our farm to workplace sites, attendees are always looking for quick, minimal effort recipes and methods. These are the 9-5 type of folks who have full schedules or families and need to get home and put something together for dinner in a relatively short amount of time. Although personally, I love to spend hours in my kitchen, I also love to show people that cooking good food doesn’t have to be difficult or take long.

Yvonne Brunot prepared this recipe at a recent demo and I thought it was an ideal fit for our soup theme. First, it showed that soups don’t have to take hours, in fact, just half an hour can work fine. Similarly to the Green Lentil Soup with Curry Butter recipe, the extent of the active cooking here is just chopping an onion and mincing some garlic. What does that take – five minutes maybe? Easy. Then, the soup simmers for short period of time while you get other things done and you’ve got diner in no time.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, medium diced
6  cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 heaping teaspoon sweet paprika
2 cups or 1 14oz can chopped tomatoes
3 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 quart vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5-ounces baby spinach

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions begin to turn translucent; lower heat if browning starts to occur. Add spices and saute a minute or so. Add tomatoes, chickpeas and broth. Season with a couple pinches of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Stir well. Chickpeas should be just covered with liquid. Add some water, if needed.

Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to low and gently simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash up some of the chickpeas right in the pot. Stir in the spinach and let heat through until wilted, just a couple minutes. Season again, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve.

Adapted from Dave Lieberman at foodnetwork.com

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

I don’t know about you, but I have this habit of really getting into a food or ingredient, stocking up on it, and then forgetting about it for awhile because I found something else, equally as awesome, to cook. I realized this the other day when I noticed I hadn’t touched my jar full of green lentils (they come in red and pink too!) in quite some time. Considering how quick they cook (20 – 30 minutes) compared to other beans, I didn’t even need to do any planning to get them on my plate (or bowl) for dinner.

And this soup rocks. I know I’ve probably said that about all of the soups at this point – but I guarantee you won’t be able to get enough of this rich, sweet, nutty and just plain delicious lentil soup. I’m really growing to appreciate the combination of coconut milk and curry. Mix these two ingredients together, pour over anything and I’ll be happy. I used a sweet curry powder this time, but I’m confident any would work well. It’s all about experimenting too, right?

 

Did you know that after soybeans and hemp, lentils have the highest amount of protein by weight? They also contain fiber, folate and Vitamin B. Not too shabby. Combine with a grain and you’ve got yourself a complete protein. So grab yourself some bread and dig in.

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 45 min

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ghee, or extra-virgin coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 1/2 cups good-tasting vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups  green lentils or green split peas, picked over and rinsed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
Fine-grain sea salt
A few handfuls of chopped spinach or other green
1 bunch fresh chives, minced (optional)

 

Combine the butter, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onions soften, a couple minutes. Add the vegetable broth and lentils and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender. This usually takes 20 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime, warm the 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it brown. When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, stir in the curry powder and sauté until the spices are fragrant, less than a minute.

When the lentils are finished cooking, remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and puree with an immersion blender. You can leave the soup a bit chunky if you like, or puree until it is perfectly smooth. Then add in the spinach.

Stir in half of the spiced butter, taste, and add more salt, if needed, typically a couple of teaspoons if you used water instead of a salted broth. Serve drizzled with the remaining spice butter and sprinkled with chives, if using.

Serves 4 to 6



Adapted from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson

White Bean Soup

Having worked in kitchens for several years, Randal Smathers knows how to make a proper soup and has some really great tips to share:

  • Always, always saute veggies well before adding stock or water.
  • Taste the stock alone for flavor. If it’s thin, canned tomato products, bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, wine, lemon juice, leftover mashed potatoes, herbs or even herbal tea (lemon zinger works well and is vegan-friendly) can bolster a stock.
  • Seasoned yogurt adds flavor and creaminess, especially to plain broths and tomato soups.
  • Adding fresh, finely chopped vegetables to a hot stock just before serving restores color and a little texture to a too-uniform soup.
  • Soups store and reheat well, but if you’re going to store a noodle soup, cook and store the noodles separately or they will balloon up and soak up the stock (barley and rice less so). Always reseason soup after reheating. The flavors tend to blend but also mellow.

At a recent EDC cooking demo Randal discussed this white bean soup as well as a winter squash and leek and potato. While his methods are authentic, they do require a slightly greater time commitment than some of our other recipes. However, much of the cooking is unattended – making this and soups in general, great weekend cooking.

White Bean Soup

1-1 1/2 pounds dried Kenearly beans from Yoder Farm or other yellow/white bean
2 pounds ham hocks or ham bone
3 medium onions
1 stick celery
1 leek
2 cloves garlic
4 carrots
Oil
Pepper
Bay leaf
3 tbsp. baking soda
1/2 pound Wallingford Locker bacon ends (optional)

Soak the beans in cold water with baking soda for at least 6 hours (overnight is better).
Drain beans, cover with fresh cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until just soft (about an hour), stirring occasionally. Drain cooked beans.

Boil ham hocks in a large pot with one onion (halved), one carrot, the bay leaf, half a dozen peppercorns and the celery. DO NOT ADD SALT. This can simmer for 2-3 hours, adding water just to cover bones as needed. Strain stock and let cool. Pick any meat off of the bones, discarding the fat. If you are preparing this in advance, you can cool the stock in the fridge or freezer and skim and discard the congealed fat.

Meanwhile, roughly chop remaining onions and carrots and leek. Smash garlic.

In your biggest, heaviest pot, saute vegetables thoroughly. If you are adding bacon, cut to 1/4 inch dice and saute it with the vegetables. Add the meat from the bones. Add beans and ham stock. Simmer until beans are mostly broken down and the soup has thickened. Add fresh water, stock, or the water the beans cooked in to thin soup as needed (be aware: the bean water will darken the light soup).
Taste, then season with pepper and salt if needed. If you added extra bacon, you should not need more salt.

Leek and Potato Soup

Forget the cans. Homemade soups can be simple, delicious, and highly nutritious. Once a medieval peasant dish, leek and potato soup needs nothing more than the two vegetables in its name and thirty minutes to result in a soup worthy of any classy restaurant. Add a side of greens and some bread and you have dinner.

Leek and Potato Soup

serves 6

If you’ve never prepped leeks before, all you’re going to want to use are the whites and tender light green portions – like those in the cover photo.

leeks

3 cups sliced leeks (the white and tender greens, save the greens for a homemade vegetable broth)

3 cups peeled and roughly chopped baking potatoes

6 cups water or broth

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional)

1 small bunch of thyme (optional)

splash of cream or milk (optional)

In a stockpot combine the leeks, potatoes, salt, water/broth, and thyme, if using. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Although optional, at this point I like to puree the soup with a hand blender and, also optional, pour in a quick splash of cream or milk. Before serving, you could top with a spoonful of sour cream or yogurt, some thyme or chives would be nice too.

leekandpot

Soup Season

There are countless reasons why soup is such a great option for cooking right now. The most obvious factor is that we generally like to eat foods opposite in temperature of the weather outside. So, on cool fall days like these we like something to warm us up. Just like how on those scorching hot days of summer we were eating low temp foods like salads.

Though perhaps less obvious to some, is the availability and quality of the local produce in relation to soup. Although the warm days are more or less behind us for now, we can still find some produce like tomatoes, peppers and corn hanging around until full frost arrives. Though the supplies grow increasingly limited and quality tends to decrease, this is exactly why they are ideal for the soup pot. Perfect quality is not really necessary and mixing things up with what’s available makes sense when considering the versatile nature of soup. The opposite is true as well – when you have so much of an item and don’t know what to do with it, you can probably make it into soup. For instance, when corn is inexpensive and thriving in August, I make a few pots of corn chowder.

Not to mention, take into account everything that is in its prime now – winter squashes, root and onion crops, for instance – and you can probably cook up soup once or twice a week now through the winter and never run out of new ideas. When you do so, make it worthwhile by cooking a large pot that you can get multiple meals out of. Or, why not prepare two soups with similar bases at once? Keep in mind that since soup is liquid based, most freeze well without much change in quality. You’ll never have to rely on canned soup again!

Diva’s Winter Squash Soup

Yielding a similar taste to Jill’s Winter Squash Soup, this recipe omits the baking time in favor of peeling and sautéing the winter squash with the onions.  Perfect for a weeknight and for butternut squash, which is very easy to peel with a standard peeler. Ingredients:

  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 1 lg butternut, or two smaller winter squash, halved, seeds removed, and diced
  • 2 or 3 apples, peeled, cored, and rough chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cream or half and half (optional)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, to taste

Preparation: Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent.  Add winter squash and apple and a dash of salt, and stir frequently until coated with oil and beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add water (to just cover mixture) and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until ingredients are soft and cooked through.  Using the puréeing hot soups safety tips, carefully ladel the mixture into a blender or food processor (REMEMBER:  Do not fill more than half way!), cover the blender or processor with a towel, and spin for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat until entire mixture is puréed.  Place puréed mixture back in original pot and add cream, maple syrup, and spices to taste.

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