Saturday, February 26, 2011

Root Veggie Soup & Catching up

Hi, everyone!

Again I've been MIA. First I had the flu (horrible!) in early January, then we just moved to a new place much closer to the beach and where I work (hooray!) We've been quite busy so far in 2011! I hope it's been treating all of you well.

The real reason for my post is this delicious root veggie soup I made last night. At my acupuncturist's suggestion, I decided to make a root veggie soup. Root veggies are especially good for my constitution, and warming spices can be as well. Anyway, I'm really happy with how it turned out! I totally improvised it, though I did take some tips from a local bakery/eatery called Azucar (by using coconut milk as part of the base). Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

Warming Spiced Root Veggie Soup
(serves a crowd, this one will make a whole Dutch oven's worth)
Note: Try to get the chunks semi-uniform so they cook evenly :)
1 small butternut squash peeled & chopped
4 small yukon gold potatoes chopped
1 rutabaga peeled & chopped
1 turnip peeled & chopped
1 large (or two small-medium) yam peeled & chopped
1 medium sweet potato (these are lighter in color than yams & have cream flesh) peeled & chopped
2 carrots peeled & chopped
1 large sweet onion diced
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 bouillon cubes (I used Rapunzel brand salt-free)
1 15oz can light coconut milk (you could use regular, I bet it would be thicker if you did)
3-4 tsp Vindaloo seasoning or use to taste (I use the one from
1 tsp cinnamon or use to taste
salt & black pepper to taste

Gather all ingredients & prep them. Once you have all the root veggies chopped & are working on the onion, begin to heat 2 tbsp of butter or oil in a 6qt Dutch oven (or similar-sized soup pot). Once the butter or oil begins to bubble, add the diced onion & a bit of salt (I added a pinch or two of celery salt at this step, may have added something, but probably not necessary). Cook until the onions are becoming translucent. Add all the root veggies & enough water to just barely cover the veggies (the pot should be fairly full at this point) plus 2 bouillon cubes (you could go ahead and prep them w/ hot water early, but I find this step to be unnecessary). Allow the water & all the veggies to come to a boil (stirring occasionally), then turn down & let them simmer until they can be easily broken apart with a wooden spoon (or are falling apart). Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender, but really everyone should own an immersion blender, they're so useful!) puree the veggies together until all chunks are gone. Afterward, pour in the coconut milk and blend to combine. Season to taste with all the spices listed (it's better to season after the soup is done to avoid over- or under-seasoning), and enjoy! I loved this soup with SQUAW bread from Charlie's Best Breads (local to San Diego), but any dark/semi-sweet bread would be nice. Grafton smoked cheddar cheese was another fantastic pair with the bread & soup.

It's been raining all weekend here in San Diego, and I'm so ready to see the sun again! Plus, it's really cold (relatively). The dogs are not fans of the rain, either. Luckily we were able to get them over to the dog beach on Friday at dusk just before the rain started. They loved running around and having the whole place to themselves. :)

Hope to be posting again soon!

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