Inspired by Bon Appetit’s recipe, Potato, Carrot and Parsnip Soup, and the bounty of root vegetables at the Holland Farmers Market, I came up with this variation that really hits the spot on an autumn day.
The original called for two things that Bill can’t eat: butter and half-and-half. I’m always intrigued by the myriad soups that list cream or half-and-half in the ingredients, especially one that already has potatoes. The starch in potatoes helps to thicken the soup so I don’t think the dairy component is necessary. Unless it’s a way to take the edge off a flavor or spice. In the end, I did add rice milk to the soup, but I’m not sure it made much difference. And, I substituted olive oil for butter in the saute process.
This year in Michigan has been a bad one for yellow onions for some reason. Two of the big vendors at the market that usually carry them either completely ran out of onions by August or have very small yellow ones. But I didn’t have any trouble finding good sized red onions, which I tend to prefer most of the time anyway. So I used half red and half yellow.
Also, the original recipe says to puree half the soup and add it back to the remainder but I really thought this combination of vegetables would taste best blended together in a puree, so that’s the way I made it.
Root Vegetable Soup
3 T. olive oil
2 medium yellow onions and 2 medium red onions (about 4 cups), sliced
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
4 large parsnips, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 ½ cups)
32 oz. organic or homemade chicken broth
About 8 medium to small red potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
¼ cup fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme
½ cup rice milk
Salt and white pepper to taste
Sauté onions in large stock pot over medium-high heat until golden, about 15 minutes.
Add carrots and parsnips and cook 10 minutes.
Add broth, potatoes, parsley and thyme.
If I can’t use my own homemade chicken stock, this organic free range chicken broth from Pacific Natural Foods is a good back-up.
Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
In batches, puree soup in blender, then return to pot. Stir in rice milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.