Mystery Vegetables: Any Vegetable Soup

29 Nov

Shopping at the farmer’s market is great for a number of reasons. One of them is the interesting, lesser known vegetables you can get your hands on that are never seen at your local A&P. But what do you do when you get home with a bunch of parsley root? I’ll tell you, below, with a recipe to boot.

parsley root soup 1


When I see a weird vegetable at the farmer’s market, there are a few things I know I can always do. One of my favorites this time of year is to just cut it up, sautee it in some butter or oil, cover with water (or stock if you have it, but it’s not necessary) simmer until tender, and then puree with the immersion blender. This works with any vegetable, or combination of them. This one was parsley root, butternut squash, and leeks. Potato and leek is another good place to go with this, or carrot and ginger… the possibilities are endless.

parsley root soup 2


And, I can now report that I’m a fan of parsley root. It’s a lot like celery root, but, you know, parsley-er.

parsley root soup 3


Any Vegetable Soup
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

1 tablespoon butter or oil
1 pound any vegetable, washed, peeled, cored as needed and cut into 1-inch chunks (but really, don’t peel anything unless you absolutely have to)
4 cups water or stock (water’s just fine, really)
salt and pepper

Heat butter or oil over medium-high heat. When butter is melted or oil is hot, add the vegetables, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften, 5 minutes or so.

Add the stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low so the mixture simmers gently, cover, and cook until vegetables are soft and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Here’s the fun part: puree with a hand blender (you can also use a blender or food processor, but you will have much less fun). Serve hot, or refrigerate and reheat when ready to serve.

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