Fall is a great time for warm, nourishing soups. A lovely, rich puree with a side of whole grain sourdough bread makes an excellent meal. It’s an easy, one-pot meal to make one once you have the basic procedure down, even without an exact recipe. Your Spleen will thank you for this warm, easy to digest, delicious meal. Cold, blustery weather calls for meals like this one—save the salads for spring and summer.

First things first: pick the main veg! Popular ones include butternut squash, kabocha squash, parsnip, cauliflower, broccoli, celeriac… whatever you like that can carry a flavor of its own. Dice up a mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery). Sauté for 5-10 minutes in extra virgin olive oil, until the onions are soft. Peel your main veg if it needs peeling (as for squash and broccoli stalks), then cut into big chunks (approximately 1” but bigger is fine; it just will slightly increase cook time). Add the chunks of your main veg plus 1-2 cut up potatoes, depending on size. The potatoes help to thicken up the soup without adding too much flavor. Add 3-4 cups of store-bought or homemade stock—just enough to barely cover all the veggies. Simmer till soft, about 25 minutes, but this varies with which main veg you have chosen. Blend*. Season with salt and pepper. You can add some cream if you like, but I mostly don’t; the potato provides a richness that’s enough for me. 

*How to blend safely: you have two main options, a stand blender or an immersion blender. If using a stand blender, let the soup cool a bit and be very careful not to overfill the blender and to secure the lid! Semi-blended chunks of hot veggies and simmering liquid flying around your kitchen are not what we’re going for with this easy, nourishing soup. Soup is best blended in at least 2 batches in a stand blender.

Recipe

  • One small onion or half of a larger one, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 Tab extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 lbs of one of the following: butternut squash, kabocha squash, parsnips, cauliflower, broccoli, celeriac. Peel if necessary, cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 large or 2 small to medium potatoes
  • 3-4 cups of broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: a splash of cream, half-and-half, or other milk or unsweetened milk substitute

1. Heat EVOO in a stockpot. Sauté onion, carrot, and celery 5-10 minutes, till all are soft.

2. Add main veg and potatoes, then stir for a few minutes.

3. Add 3-4 cups stock, just enough to cover all the veggies in the pot. Bring to a simmer and cover.

4. Cook for about 25 minutes, checking at 5 minute increments starting at 15 minutes, until main veg and potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.  

5. Blend into a purée, following *note above on safety.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I would start with at least 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.

Serve with a loaf of crusty, homemade sourdough bread for maximum coziness.