by Kimberley Thompson, Tastemaker in Residence
Given the current weather in Minnesota, I have been fixated on soup during the bitterly cold drives home from work.
Meaty soup. Brothy soup. Soup with noodles. Soup with dumplings. Vegetable soup. Dunking soup. Sipping soup and slurping soup! (Slurping soup is considered to be a complement to the cook in many cultures!)
Rich soups with multi layers of butter, cheese and cream are scrumptious, but definitely hard on my waistline. So I have been experimenting with vegetable based soups in meat broth; using an immersion or stick blender to achieve that luxurious creamy mouth feel. Think silk!
One recipe I have been kicking around is based on a baked vegetable side dish that my brother makes. It’s actually the closest thing to a vegetable addiction that I have ever known!
Simple root vegetables with apples and herbs do not sound that posh, but WOW, it hits the taste buds with sweet, herby, tart notes that pair perfectly with toasted sourdough bread!
2 lbs 1/4" sliced carrots
2 lbs 1/4" sliced parsnips
1 peeled, cored and quartered tart apple-(Granny Smith)
1 box chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup craisins
3 sprigs thyme (leave whole to remove later)
2 fresh bay leaves
For the garnish you will need:
1 small carton plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup craisins
1 loaf sour dough bread
- Cook the soup ingredients in a large covered pot on the stove for 30 to 35 minutes until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
- Pick out the thyme sprigs and bay leaves and throw them away.
- Using stick blender, being careful not to splash the scalding soup on you, blend the soup until it is as creamy as you like. Dish into bowls.
- Take the greek yogurt and craisins and put them in a blender. Pulse until craisins are flecks. Place in a zippered plastic bag. Cut a tip off a corner of the bag and pipe the yogurt mixture in a generous circular spiral on the soup.
- Serve immediately with your toasted & buttered bread to sop!
- Prefer parsnips without a dark or woody looking center.
- If you prefer a thicker soup, increase the quantity of both the carrots and the parsnips to 3 pounds each.