Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter Vegetable Soup l Pook's PantryThis post is sponsored by Idaho® Potatoes. As always, all opinions are my own.

It’s winter.  That means comfort food.  But, we’re also trying to eat a little healthier too, right? We’re making an effort to eat more vegetables because we want to get more bang for our buck in the nutrition department.  I’ve got you covered.  This soup is nearly fat free, it’s low in calories and contains a ton of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  While you are cozied up in the house, it’s the perfect time to put on a pot of this hearty winter vegetable soup.

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This is my kind of comfort food.  First of all, It’s a snap to make.  It’s also good for me and it’s delicious.  Can you honestly ask for anything more?!  Other than someone else cleaning up the dirty dishes, I don’t think so.   Because this soup is so healthy, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about inhaling copious amounts of it and neither should you.

When I’m in soup making mode, I usually make about a gallon.  Unless I’m cooking for clients, then that amount could very easily triple.  Here’s how I look at it – I’m already doing it.  So if I make a big batch and freeze some, that saves me time when I need it.  Therefore, it is absolutely worth the effort.

Chef’s Tip : Sauté your veggies!

Sauteed Veggies l Pook's Pantry

Do I really need to sauté my vegetables?  You don’t have to, but I certainly recommend you do. Why bother?  This seems like an unnecessary step.  It isn’t because sautéeing the vegetables develops flavor that would otherwise be lacking. If you skip this step and just plop them into broth, your soup will still be good but it won’t live up to it’s potential.  Don’t you want it to reach it’s potential?!
 

Vegetable Croutons

Veggie Croutons l Pook's Pantry

This is the garnish for our soup.   Dice up a bit of carrot, parsnip and potato (it doesn’t have to be perfect, this isn’t Top Chef or anything) toss it with a little canola oil, salt & pepper and roast.  They can be as crunchy as you like – or as soft as you like – they just need to be cooked through. If you are feeling lazy and just want to make a pureéd soup, by all means, do.  After all, sometimes one cannot be bothered after a long day.  The veggie croutons give it a “restaurant feel” if you know what I mean.  It makes the soup a little schmancy.  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this is the perfect soup for an elegant dinner at home.

Winter Veggie Soup l Pook's Pantry

Used to make Winter Vegetable Soup:

Winter Vegetable Soup
Serves 4
Healthy winter vegetable soup. Perfect comfort food for chilly weather, yet elegant enough for a special occasion.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. Idaho® russet potatoes, peeled + 1 small russet, peeled & diced
  2. 2 med carrots, peeled + 1 peeled & diced
  3. 1 rib celery, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic
  5. 1 parsnip, peeled + 1 peeled & diced
  6. 1 med. onion, diced
  7. 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  8. 4 cups vegetable broth
  9. 3 bay leaves
  10. 3 sprigs thyme
  11. 2 tsp. kosher salt
  12. 1 tsp. black pepper
  13. 1 tbsp. canola oil
  14. 2 tbsp. diced chives
  15. 1/4 cup cream, optional
Instructions
  1. 1. Set aside the diced potato, carrot and parsnip for garnish. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. 2. In a large pot, heat half of the oil. Add carrots, celery, parsnips, onion, garlic, turmeric, salt and pepper. Sauté on medium heat until light golden brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. 3. Add bay leaves, thyme, vegetable stock and potatoes. Simmer on medium/medium-low heat for about 30 - 40 minutes until vegetables are very soft.
  4. 4. While soup is simmering, toss diced vegetables in remaining canola oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Lay out a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until slightly crispy on the outside and cooked through. About 20 -25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. 5. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs from soup. Using a stick blender, puree the soup. You can also use a regular blender: ladle it in carefully and place a towel over the top to avoid getting burned.
  6. 6. Pour soup into bowl and top with diced, roasted veggies.
  7. 7. Sprinkle with diced chives, if desired.
Notes
  1. *Plating: You may also portion 1/4 of the roasted, diced veggies into 4 bowls and then pour soup into bowls around the vegetables.
  2. **If you are using cream, add it in as you are pureéing the soup.
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Winter Vegetable Soup l Pook's Pantry

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