Saturday, March 6, 2010

LA Times Winter Vegetable Soup - Veganized!

I saw this recipe for winter vegetable soup in the LA Times a few weeks ago. It was one of those SOS cry for helps to please find/recreate so-and-so restaurant's recipe. Creamy winter vegetable soup sounded like the perfect pairing to the rainy weather we've been getting blessed with in Southern California. I have not worked with root vegetables too much and I think the labels were off at the grocery store so I ended up with a rutabaga instead of celery root. The parsnips smelled like root beer when I was cutting them. I later caught my brother secretly gnawing on a root. He told me it made a good palate cleanser.
Horrible attempt at food blogger still life shot
The only roadblock is that I am following Greek Orthodox lenten fast which means no bleeding animal products so I tweaked the recipe in two ways:
1 quart chicken brother (substituted vegetable broth)
1 cup cream (substituted soy half and half)
In all honesty, it would have been much, much better with the cream. I am getting sick of this soy milk nonsense, but I have less than a month to go. Additionally, I am no baller food blogger and my pantry is not stocked with truffle oil. I do have imported Austrian pumpkin seed oil and of course, the liquid gold Greek olive oil which I used as a garnish. Sauteed mushrooms would have been nice also, if I had those.
Winter Vegetable Soup

Servings: 6 to 8

2 cups sliced leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced into 1/4 -inch strips (from about 3 whole)

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter

2 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

4 1/2 cups diced boiling potatoes (from a scant 2 pounds), peeled and diced into 1/4 -inch cubes

1 1/2 cups diced parsnips (3 to 4 whole), peeled and diced into 1/4 -inch cubes

1 celery root (about 1 pound), peeled and diced into 1/4 -inch cubes

1 quart chicken broth, more as desired

Salt and white pepper

1 cup heavy cream

White truffle oil

1. In a medium heavy-bottom soup pot heated over medium-high heat, saute the leeks in the butter until tender, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, and being careful not to burn the butter. Stir in the thyme and bay leaves and continue to cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.

2. Stir in the potatoes, parsnips, celery root and broth and bring the mixture to a good simmer. Season with one-half teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, or to taste. Cook until the parsnips begin to become tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and stir in the cream. Continue to cook until all of the vegetables are tender, an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

3. Purée the soup until smooth using a blender or immersion blender. Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer and season as desired with additional salt and pepper. Add the truffle oil, a few drops at a time, to taste.

4. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.

With Austrian pumpkin seed oil. Olive oil is better!


Peter M said...

Yo Psili, this soup looks restaurant-grade...I lurve my soup in the winter.

Diana said...

Aww even with the vegan fixes and lack of truffle oil, it still looks good to me! I've been meaning to try a soup with parsnips. There's one I have my eye on...

H. C. said...

That's a nice looking soup, even when veganized (also, I find almond and rice milks much than better than soy when using as a dairy substitute, particularly because they have a less pronounced flavor.)

Banana Wonder said...

o kanados - thanks you, esp coming from you! i would go to your restaurant everyday if you opened one.

Banana Wonder said...

d - parsnips are interesting! if you make this soup please use the celery root and not the rutabaga like i did.

hc - good call. i love almond, hazelnut and hemp milk. should have thought about that. next time!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is one tasty and healthy soup!



SinoSoul said...

was thinking about this Greek lenten non-bleeders issue the other night...

"cream" of kabocha can be made without any cream (just pureed olive oil/onions), and would probably be the best "wintery" soup for you. did I mention I have 2 super ripe kabochas in my garage?

Banana Wonder said...

Rosa - twas tasty, but I think it could have been tastier with cream =)

Tony - Sign me up for one of your kombachas! Greek tutor has made me that soup before - sooo good! Thanks for thinking of your fasting buddy.

Ruth Abatzoglou said...

Anna, you have to try making a carrot ginger soup a'la vegan. The ginger might make up for the lack of cream. Just a thought.... Love MOM.

Banana Wonder said...

Mom - good call. You need to teach me that one. I love ginger and the color orange is snazzy. Love your significant daughter.