“Back-to-Our-Roots Soup”

Root vegetables for soup

Favorite FoodieBook Friday! A root vegetable soup to warm the soul!

Inspired by The Year of Soup by Howard Reiss, this creamy, smooth, root vegetable soup is a “…smooth, thick, mildly sweet puree that most everyone enjoys and which will stand up to any salad or bread, as well as your most assertive worries.”

The Year of Soup Howard Reiss, reading the book.
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After reading The Year of Soup last week all I could think about was SOUP, SOUP, SOUP. I’m one of those people who could eat soup every day. My husband, not so much. Too bad for him! He also doesn’t like “watery soup” so I always have to thicken it. Trying to come up with healthy thick soups is a challenge!

Luckily, we have had a cold snap, so it’s perfect weather for making a thick soup. As I began peeling and chopping the vegetables, I was a little worried. Parsnips and turnips are pungent! As I simmered the vegetables in the stock the whole house smelled, sort of like a Jiggs Dinner. Cabbagey??? I had just made a pot of chicken stock, and was honestly worried that I’d just wasted most of it! Turnips and parsnips have a bite to them and are a bit sour. It just didn’t taste right. I did not intend to add milk and sour cream, but once I did, the color looked brighter, the smell richer, and the taste creamy and delicious.

I look forward to hearing what soups you make when you need to warm your soul!

“…smooth, thick, mildly sweet puree that most everyone enjoys and which will stand up to any salad or bread, as well as your most assertive worries.”

The Year of Soup by Howard Reiss
Back-to-our-Roots Soup, inspired by Howard Reiss

“Back-to-Our-Roots” Soup, a Root Vegetable Soup to Warm the Soul.

A creamy, tangy, root vegetable soup inspired by The Year of Soup by Howard Reiss. A slightly sweet blend of parsnips, potatoes, carrots, and turnips. This soup gets better as it sits in the refrigerator overnight and makes the perfect lunch!
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Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 171kcal
Author: ebookfoodie


  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp butter (optional)
  • 3 leeks 2-3 leeks thinly sliced, hard green leaves cut off.
  • 5 potatoes Medium to large, peeled and chopped into medium chunks.
  • 4 carrots Peeled and cut into chunks.
  • 2 parsnips Peeled and chopped into medium chunks.
  • 1/2 turnip Peeled and chopped into medium chunks. (Turnip can be omitted, it's kind-of sour.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg I grated some fresh nutmeg.
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric Optional, but I put some in almost all my soups.
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper More or less, however you like.
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon Optional
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper Optional.
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream Optional, but it's much better with it! A block of cream cheese will work if you don't have sour cream.
  • 1/2 cup milk Cream or Half & Half will work also.
  • 8 cups broth I used homemade chicken & veggie stock.
  • 1/2 lemon Zest and juice, optional.


  • Add olive oil, butter, salt and sliced leeks to a large soup pot. Sauté until soft.
    Sauté Leeks in Olive Oil and Butter
  • Stir in all the spices.
  • Add all the cubed vegetables and pour in the broth or stock.
    Root vegetables for soup
  • Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until fork tender. (While simmering, bring sour cream and milk to room temperature.)
  • Add the zest and juice of half of a lemon. (You can wait and add lemon juice when garnishing if you prefer, or both!)
  • Remove soup from heat and very carefully purée the hot soup until desired smoothness with an immersion blender. Be very careful, puréed soup is like Molten LAVA!
  • In a large cup or bowl, add the sour cream and milk. Stir to mix out the lumps.
  • Ladle some of the puréed soup into the sour cream and milk mixture and stir. Add as much purée as needed to warm the cream through. Once it's warm, stir it into your soup.
  • Adjust for salt, pepper. Top with a dollop of sour cream or lemon juice!


  • I like to add about 4 tbsp instant polenta to thicken soups, or potato flakes/instant mashed potatoes.
  • I like it a little rustic with some chunks of vegetable, not totally smooth. Plus, I’m too lazy to get out the high speed blender!
  • You can also ladle out small batches and purée in your blender. Again, be very careful, puréed soup is like molten lava!


Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 891mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4325IU | Vitamin C: 22.1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 3.7mg

What soup do you make to warm your soul? Some of my favorites are chicken veggie noodle & zoodle soup, butternut squash soup, and a version of Zuppa Toscana with chicken Italian sausage. I try to use homemade chicken & veggie stock whenever possible, I think it’s the best. Sure it takes some time, but your house will smell fantastic, and you’ll never want to use boxed or canned broth again!

Speaking of soul warming

Jill replied to my blog post looking for my Moms Stuffed Acorn Squash and she sent me some pictures from her mothers vintage 1960’s Betty Crocker Cookbook! I’m pretty sure mom made her recipe up, inspired by Betty Crockers Baked Squash with Applesauce and/or the Baked Squash with Onion Recipe. Thank you Jill! I’m totally going to make the sausage stuffed acorn squash!

Betty Crocker Cookbook, 1960 vintage. Acorn Squash

In case you missed me on Twitter this week, I want to know why I’m just now finding out about the STRONG button on the newer Keurig! It’s amazing. My old Keurig brewed watery coffee and I was about to give up on it when I exploded it. Well, maybe it didn’t explode, but I put cold water in the reservoir when it was pretty HOT and it made a very loud noise and stopped working. Anyway, the new Keurig mini has a STRONG button and it makes the best coffee. Hmmmm, I’m wondering if I need to re-evaluate some Kcup reviews where I called their coffee “coffee water” or “needs more coffee in the coffee.” I need to explode my day job office Keurig so I can get one with a strong button!

Keurig with STRONG button
See the STRONG button next to the power button? It’s a life changer!
Keurig with STRONG button
They are on Amazon right now for $76.99! If you have an older Keurig without the magic STRONG button, immediately kill it so you can buy this one! AND it fits my travel mug! My old one was too short so I had to dirty up a coffee mug and pour it into my travel mug every morning.

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