Our Signature Dish: Root Soup

Our Signature Dish: Root Soup

I’ve always loved vichyssoise soup (served warm) and decided one day to build on that. The result is this soup.

This is the signature dish of Rootsliving. It encompasses everything that Rootsliving is about: it’s simple, uses fresh ingredients of the season, is healthy (so healthy it should ward off the flu) and delicious. And although I invented this dish, I don’t believe I’m the first person to put these ingredients together in a soup.

This is a soup that someone could have made hundreds of years ago, perhaps using the only ingredients they had available. It’s peasant food, created out of necessity and passed down from generation to generation because it’s that good. It stands the test of time. Most of the recipes here are in that category. And I hope I’m not being too indulgent by saying I believe this soup is in that special class.

BONUS: Good, hearty food doesn’t have to be fattening. If you leave out the cream and butter in this recipe, it’s low-calorie. And, if you substitute water for the chicken stock, it’s just as good and zero points for you Weight Watchers out there.

 

Overview of a bowl of soup
The carrots make this soup a bright orange color and sweet.

 

This would make a great first course at Thanksgiving dinner, or any holiday dinner. I serve it on special occasions but also make it a few times a month during the winter to help build up our immune systems. And if you have young children who don’t like to eat vegetables, this is a great way to get some in them.

 

Chopped up vegetables in a soup pot
What could be easier than throwing everything into a pot?

 

The prep for this soup involves lots of chopping, but once that work is done, you just throw everything into a big pot and cook.

 

Leeks on a cutting board.
Don’t let these hairy root vegetables scare you. Put them in their place.

 

If you’ve never cooked with leeks before, don’t fret. They’re big, but not scary. Consider them gigantic scallions if that makes you feel better and treat them the same. Chop off the squiggly roots at the bottom and chop off the leafy greens at the top. Then split them down the middle so you can wash them under a running faucet to get the dirt out.

 

Leeks, sliced down the middle.
That’s better. Part of taming these wild vegetables is cutting off the tops and bottoms and slicing them down the middle so you can clean them properly.

 

After the vegetables are soft, you let the mixture cool down (for at least an hour or so) and then working batches you puree it in a blender.

 

Soup in a blender
WARNING: Make sure the soup has cooled down before putting it in a blender. You don’t want to burn yourself or others if some spurts out the top.

 

Return the pureed soup back into the big pot and heat it up on the stove. Add some milk or heavy cream if you like (this is optional), some butter (also optional), and just a dash of nutmeg. Be careful, nutmeg is very strong. You can always add more if you like but you can’t take it out once it’s in the pot.

 

Orange soup in a bowl
Hearty, rich and sweet, just like you.

 

You can serve it as a first course, or as main course with some crusty bread and a salad. This is a great winter warmer and will soon become part of your comfort food DNA.

 

 

Root Soup

November 4, 2009
: 20 min
: 45 min
: 1 hr 5 min
: Medium

By:

Ingredients
  • 6 leeks (chop off the roots and leaves
  • use just the white and light green part, discard the rest.)
  • 5 cups diced potatoes
  • 3 cups diced sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 8-10 cups chicken stock
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Dash of nutmeg (Nutmeg is strong so use no more than 1/8 teaspoon.)
  • Butter (1-2 tablespoons, or less)
  • Heavy cream (About 1/4 cup)
Directions
  • Step 1 Put everything in a pot (except for the nutmeg, butter and heavy cream) and bring to a boil.
  • Step 2 Lower heat and simmer, covered loosely for about 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
  • Step 3 Wait until ingredients cool and then puree in a blender in batches (if ingredients are still warm or hot, be careful not to burn yourself).
  • Step 4 Heat up soup, add nutmeg, butter and the heavy cream (don’t let it boil.)
  • Step 5 Serve with a crusty bread (french, ciabatta, italian etc.)

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