The Year of Soup Howard Reiss, reading the book.
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"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!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
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!
  • This soup packed up nicely for lunch. Just what I needed some soul-warming, soothing soup and some me time!
    Back-to-our-Roots Soup, inspired by Howard Reiss


  • 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