Last weekend, the husband and I took our weekly trip to the market. A hearty fall-inspired lunch full in our bellies, I was excited about the bounty of Autumn produce we would come upon. I started grabbing items as I saw them at the outdoor farmer’s market. Leeks, carrots, brussels sprouts, he requested some purple broccoli and I admired the plethora of winter squashes- my favorite. I grabbed two that were on a 2/$5 special and went on my way- with no idea of what I was going to make with them except a strong desired for a warm, hearty, fall soup.
I had “squash soup” on the menu that week, and when it came time to make it I still had no idea what I was looking to make. So I surveyed my stash. Leeks were the first thing I spotted, so I rinsed them off well and threw them in my soup pot with a couple tablespoons of butter to cook. I chopped up some celery and carrots, threw in a couple cloves of garlic, tossed in some parsnips and chose some of my favorite fall spices- cinnamon and cloves, some fresh thyme and a couple bay leaves. Covered it all with a mix of water and broth and left it to simmer, slowly, for a half an hour until everything was soft and the flavors had dispersed throughout.
What resulted was the ultimate autumn root vegetable soup. Creamy and thick, with a velvety texture and a subtle spiciness, with all of the sweet and hearty flavors of winter squash and all the root-grown vegetables I love this time of year. A simple recipe, but with lots of character.
Autumn Roots soup
2 tbsp organic butter
1 extra-large or 2 medium leeks, sliced and rinsed well
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3-4 medium parsnips (about 1.5 cups), diced
4 cups butternut squash, diced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1/2-1 tsp sea salt ( to taste)
4-6 cups broth or water (I used half vegetable broth, half water- enough so vegetables are fully covered)
Thinly sliced green onion, for serving
1. Heat butter in a medium soup pot. Add leeks and sautee until translucent. Stir in garlic, carrots and celery and cook until starting to soften. Add parsnips and butternut squash, stir to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes.
2. Add in spices and herbs, and stir to combine. Add broth and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Puree soup in a Vita-mix or high speed blender, adding more broth/water as needed to reach desired consistency. Pour into bowls and top with green onion.