Soup has always been the cure to warming you up and soothing your soul. Regardless of your preference, meaty, vegetable or noodle, soup offers a multitude of variety that can be tantalizing to your tastebuds.
New York Times writer Martha Rose Shulman serves up a delicious recipe that she concocted while visiting in France. She always noticed while shopping on the streets of France how markets sold bags of mixed vegetables consisting of celery, onions, carrots, leeks and turnips called soupe’. She decided to created a simple, healthy ginger-scented soup that was inspired by the suppers she enjoyed while in the homes of her French friends.
If you love soup and are daring to try this one, here’s the recipe:
PUREE’ OF WINTER VEGETABLE SOUP
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound leeks (1 large or 2 small), white and light green parts only, cleaned well and sliced
1/2 pound carrots (2 large), peeled and sliced
1/2 pound kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled and diced
1/2 pound turnips, peeled and diced
6 ounces potatoes (2 medium), peeled and diced
1 1/2 quarts water, chicken stock or vegetable stock (see note)
2 fat slices ginger, peeled
1 bay leaf
A couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about three minutes. Add the leeks and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until tender but not browned, about five more minutes. Add the carrots, kohlrabi, turnips, potatoes and water or stock. Bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, wrap the ginger, bay leaf, thyme, parsley and peppercorns in cheesecloth. Tie them up to make a bouquet garni, and add to the pot. Add salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons), reduce the heat, cover and simmer one hour. Remove the cheesecloth bag, and discard.
3. Blend the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. (Do not put the top on tight; cover the top with a towel to prevent hot splashes.) Pour the soup through a strainer into a bowl; press the soup through the strainer with the back of a ladle or with a pestle. Return to the pot and heat through. Add lots of freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt, and serve.
Note: To make a quick vegetable stock, cut away the dark green outer leaves of the leeks, wash thoroughly, and simmer in a pot of water with the peelings from the carrots while you prepare your other vegetables. Strain, and use for the soup.
Yield: Serves six.
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