Cream of Celery Soup

Celery fansServes 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 pounds celery (stalks and leaves), washed and diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Garnish
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 Italian sausage links, meat removed from casings
1 cup bread cubes
Cracked black pepper

In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onion and celery until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the broth and potato, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potato is fork tender, about 20 minutes. Add the parsley leaves and cook another 4 to 5 minutes.

Use a hand blender to puree the soup until smooth, or work in batches in a food processor and pulse until very smooth. Return to pot, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Stir in the lemon juice and keep warm.

To prepare the garnish, heat the oil in a skillet, and cook the sausage meat over medium heat until lightly browned, breaking the meat up into small pieces as it cooks using two forks. Add the bread cubes to the sausage and cook until the bread is golden and crisp, stirring often to prevent burning.

Serve the soup in four individual bowls, then sprinkle the sausage, black pepper and croutons on top.

We thank italianfoodforever.com for this recipe.

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Cream of Turnip & Potato Soup

golden turnips

It’s time to cream those turnips into a warming wintertime soup.

4 tablespoons butter
2 large turnips, peeled and chopped
1 large onion peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 liter warm chicken stock (vegetable if preferred) (about 4 1/4 cups)
1 bay leaf
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
200 milliliters cream (about 3/4 cup)
1 medium carrot, finely grated

In a large casserole dish, melt butter over a medium heat. Add turnips, onion and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is tender and translucent. Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetables from casserole; reserve.

Away from heat, stir flour into casserole juices until smooth. Slowly pour in chicken broth, stirring. Simmer for 3 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Transfer reserved vegetables back into casserole dish; add bay leaf and sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Lower heat; simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Remove casserole dish from heat, discard bay leaf and puree soup mixture, a little at a time, in a blender.

Pour puree back into casserole dish; return over low heat. Stir in cream; simmer soup for 4 minutes, until hot. Do not boil. Remove casserole dish from heat; pour soup into 4 individual bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with a little finely grated carrot and serve.

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Creamy Garlic Soup

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 leek, white and tender greens, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
8-10 small cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (2 tablsepoons)
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 slices good quality sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablsepoon canola oil
1 cup milk (whole or skim)
Finely chopped fresh chervil, chives, tarragon, parsley or basil

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large saucepan, heat the peanut oil. Add the leek, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, potato chunks, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low cover and summer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the bread cubes with the canola oil. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 6 minutes, or until golden.

Strain the soup into a clean saucepan. In a blender or food processor, puree the vegetables with a little of the liquid until smooth. Return the puree to the pan and stir in the milk. Bring the soup just to a simmer over moderately high heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve in shallow bowls, garnished with chopped fresh herbs and the croutons.

We thank Jacques Pepin for this recipe.

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Hearty Mushroom and Oat Groat Soup

Whole Grain Naked OatsIt’s a great time of year to get your natural source of vitamin D in mushrooms. Snuggle up with a warm cup of this soup!

1/2 ounce dried mushrooms, rehydrated
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup olive oil
3 medium leeks, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms
6 cups vegetable stock or canned low-sodium broth
1/2 cup oat groats, soaked overnight and drained
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium parsnip, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced thyme
1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced parsley

In a heatproof bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and reserve the liquid separately. Thinly slice the mushrooms.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Thinly slice the fresh mushrooms and add them and the reconstituted mushrooms to the pot. Cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom liquid and the stock, oat groats, carrots, parsnip, balsamic vinegar, thyme and rosemary and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the oat groats are tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Serve piping hot.

Recipe adapted from foodandwine.com.

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Cold Beet Soup

Sliced beets

Ever have leftovers of roasted beets? Use them up in this tasty soup!

1 1/2 pounds cooked beets,* diced
2 cups water
3 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons fresh dill

Blend all ingredients together and pour into 4 bowls. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill.

*Beets can be steamed or boiled. For a richer flavor, cut them up into 1/2 inch pieces, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper, and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until tender, turning halfway through. Use for this soup, or in a salad, or just on their own as a tasty side dish with sautéed kale and goat cheese.

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Curried Delicata Squash Soup

delicata (4)

Tis the season for squashy goodness!

2 pounds delicata squash
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Half a lemon
Sour cream, chopped scallions, and fresh cilantro for garnishing

Remove the stem and skin of the squash, then cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and innards. Chop into half-inch slices, then cube.

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spices with the cubed squash and continue to stir. Put a lid on the pot and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the coconut milk and 3 cups of water and stir.

Bring the soup to a boil then turn down the heat to low and let it simmer until the squash is tender, about thirty minutes. Add salt and pepper and a lemon squeeze. Allow soup to cool. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree until smooth. Add toppings if desired.

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Sweet Corn Soup

corn on the cob

Although corn lovers often profess to have favorite varieties, the real key is freshness. Avoid corn with dry, pale husks and silks that are desiccated where they enter the cob. If pricked, kernels should squirt whitish juice. As for choosing the best-tasting corn, don’t buy a cob that’s more than 24 hours out of the field.

1 1/4 cups boiled sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup boiled and crushed sweet corn kernels
1 cup finely chopped and boiled mixed veggies (carrots, cauliflower, de-husked fava beans)
4 tablespoons corn flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
Salt to taste

Combine corn flour and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and mix until the flour dissolves completely. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a deep pan. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté on medium heat until fragrant. Add the sweet corn, crushed sweet corn and veggies. Mix well and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add 4 cups water, corn flour/water mixture, salt and pepper, mix well and cook on medium for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately sprinkled with diced peppers as an optional garnish.

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Beet – Pear Soup

Pears in the orchard

Pair your pears with beets for a soup you can’t beat!

4 medium beets
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 ripe pear, peeled and cored, cut into 1 inch strips
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Steam beets (as described at the bottom of our About Beets post). Heat the butter on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the pear and cook for about 3 minutes more stirring occasionally. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the beets, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Allow to cool. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or carefully puree in batches in the blender. Can serve hot or cold, topped with goat cheese. Serves 4-6.

Adapted from 50 Best Plants on the Planet, the Most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes by Cathy Thomas.

P.S. Save those greens! Beet greens are a lovely sauté green and offer you the same nutrient density as the beet root. It’s a two for one deal! Prepare them like you would Swiss chard.

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Vegetarian Pho

baby green bok choy

Is your CSA box rich with bok choy? Try this Vietnamese noodle soup (pho) for a tasty way to enjoy your veggies.

Serves 2

For the broth
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
3-inch cinnamon stick, preferably Vietnamese cassia-cinnamon
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock or broth
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

For the noodles
1/2 pound dried flat rice noodles (known as bánh phở; use 1/16″, 1/8″, or 1/4″ width depending on availability and preference)

For the toppings (choose a few)
Protein such as fried or baked tofu, bean curd skin, or seitan
Mushrooms
Vegetables such as bok choy, napa cabbage, or broccoli

For the garnishes (choose a few)
1/2 large onion, very thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 chile pepper (Thai bird, serrano or jalapeño), sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Large handful of herbs: cilantro, Thai basil
Hoisin sauce, Sriracha (optional)

To make the broth, char the onion and ginger over an open flame (holding with tongs) or directly under a broiler until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes on each side. Rinse with water.

In a large pot, dry-roast cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When you can smell the aroma of the roasted spices, add vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, and charred onion and ginger.

Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and keep hot until ready to serve.

Make the noodles while the broth simmers. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain. (If soaking does not soften the noodles enough, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.)

Prepare the toppings as desired – slice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, and so on. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavor of the broth.

To serve, divide the noodles between two bowls. Arrange toppings over noodles. Ladle the broth between the two bowls. Serve with garnishes on the side, which diners should add to taste.

We thank The Kitchn for this tasty recipe.

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Asparagus Leek Soup

1 1/2 pounds asparagus
3 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced leek
2 gloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup half-and-half or raw milk
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Splash lemon juice (optional)

Cut asparagus into 1-inch chunks and simmer in chicken broth for about 5 minutes, until tender. In a small saucepan, melt butter and sauté leeks and garlic for five minutes on medium-low heat. Add flour and cook for one more minute.

Add the flour mixture to chicken broth and stir until thickened. Blend everything together until semi-smooth. Then return soup to sauce pan, add raw milk, thyme, and salt and pepper. Simmer everything for five minutes and then top with optional parmesan and lemon juice.

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