Like many of us, I am thrilled to bid adieu to winter and embrace the spring. But sometimes spring has a false start, and we are forced to endure a few more chilly and blustery days and nights.
In those cases, we often crave a warming meal, but we also maybe have pivoted from the hearty stews and braises that grace a traditional winter table and moved onto lighter fare.
This was the case one cold, damp night recently. I had a light, springy, herb-laced chicken salad on the menu, but my bones were chilled and I craved something warm. I rummaged through my produce drawer and found a decent selection of items that bridged winter and spring. A sweet potato, a white potato, a few carrots symbolized the previous season, and a leek, a few celery stalks and a handful of fresh parsley evoked spring. A splash of vegetable broth, some seasonings and my trusty immersion blender and, voila, a healthy, warm, hearty, vegan, pareve, and economical meal. What’s not to love?
Winter to Spring Vegan Soup
Serves two generously or four as a starter or side
The recipe here took a “necessity is the mother of invention” approach, and was based on what I had on hand. You can be as creative as you like — onions, parsnips, tomatoes, herbs, greens, etc.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 leek, sliced, green and white parts
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks
- 1 white potato, cut in chunks
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 stalks celery, cut in pieces
- 2 carrots, cut in pieces
- 1 handful parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Generous sprinkle of fresh ground pepper
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
Heat the oil in a large stockpot and add all the ingredients except the broth.
Sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth to just barely cover the vegetable mixture.
Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
Using an immersion blender, Cuisinart or regular blender, puree until smooth. (Use caution to avoid getting burned). Adjust the seasonings and enjoy.