Creamy Root Vegetable Soup
Thank you to Flatout for sponsoring this post
I’ll never forget one particular nine year old boy who attended a cooking class I taught a few years ago. His mother said he never ate vegetables, and certainly not salad. Fast forward an hour into class when I found him downing a veggie-packed taco salad he’d made on his own. Not a lettuce leaf remained in the bottom of the bowl. He surprised even himself.
The lesson? If you want your kids to eat well, teach them to cook.
For parents, this means carving out time, tapping into patience, tolerating mess, and finding ways to make it fun. This brings me to today’s recipes, which involve pairing a mega nourishing soup with fun-to-make flatbread crackers (pull out those cookie cutters, people).
First, the main event. It’s a creamy carrot soup with added sweetness from the parsnips and little bit of maple syrup. If you have the time on a Saturday, grab your kids and head to the farmers’ market to buy up your provisions. Shopping is a perfect first step in engaging your kids with food and cooking, and I don’t know of a more appealing place to do that than the farmers’ market.
Next, those crackers. Here’s the fun part: let the kids go to town with cookie cutters to create shapes using Flatout Flatbread as their canvas. Once the flatbread is cut, brush with olive oil, and add seasonings and seeds as generously as you like. Put them into the oven to bake and do your best to save some for when the soup is ready. You’ll find the recipe by heading here.
I’m crossing my fingers that by getting your kids involved, this supper will go over as well in your house as it did in mine.
Creamy Root Vegetable Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large leeks
- 5 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled
- 3 medium parsnips, scrubbed or peeled
- 1 pound waxy potatoes, such as yukon gold, red, or yellow finn (unpeeled)
- 4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons whole milk yogurt
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
Cut the white and light green part of the leeks crosswise into 1/4-inch thick disks. Fill a medium bowl with water and immerse the leeks, breaking them apart a bit to release any dirt. Lift the leeks out of the water, rinse in a colander and drain.
Heat the olive oil over medium in a large, heavy pot. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until fairly tender, being careful that they don’t brown, about 10 minutes.
While the leeks cook, cut the carrots and parsnips crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. The larger pieces can be cut in half again. Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Precision isn’t essential here. Pile the vegetables into the pot with the leeks, mix, add the bay leaf and add enough chicken broth so that it comes just to the top of the vegetables. The amount may vary. Best is to air on the side of less since you can always add more later. If you add too much, your soup with be thin.
Bring to a boil, drop the heat until the soup bubbles gently. Add a lid, slightly askew so that a little of the soup is exposed. Cook until the vegetables are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. You know they’re done when you can smash a large piece of parsnip with relative ease using a fork.
Remove bay leaf and add the salt and pumpkin pie spice. Puree soup with an immersion blender or in a stand up blender until smooth.
Return soup to the pot if using a stand up blender. Add the maple syrup and yogurt and stir well. Taste and add more salt if desired. Thin with more chicken broth or water, if needed.
Serve in bowls with a drizzle of maple syrup.