Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Vegetable Soup

Nothing is better than a hot cup of soup on a cold day, particularly when it's a hardy one!

  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 large bulb fennel, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. butternut squash, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 2 TBS each thyme, parsley and rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 3 c vegetable stock 
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 4 TBS flour
  • 3 c. milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Oyster crackers, for serving
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, squash, carrots, parsnips, onion, leeks, garlic and the fresh and dried herbs. Cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, to soften, 8-10 minutes. Add the stock and simmer while you make the white sauce.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the milk and simmer to thicken. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once thickened, combine the sauce with the soup and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve. Top each bowl with oyster crackers.