Winter Cream of Root Vegetable Soup with Sour Cream

How wonderful it is when you come across a magical-seeming, easy recipe like this cream of root vegetable soup with sour cream. Cooks treasure recipes like that, passing them down from generation to generation.

That is certainly how I feel about this pureed soup of winter vegetables that my grandmother taught my mother how to make, and my mother then taught me.

No matter what fresh ingredients my mother had on hand when the weather was cold, she always got wonderful results with this cream of root vegetable soup recipe.

No matter what vegetables she used, in whatever combination, my mother turned them into wonderful soup. That's the beauty of this this cream of root vegetable soup recipe. Start with the kind and number of vegetables I give you in the recipe. Add more carrots and less of the parsnips, turnip, and rutabaga, and you get a carrot soup. Leave out the carrots and you get a beautiful ivory-colored winter root puree. Use just potatoes and leeks and you'll have the classic leek-and-potato soup. Always include some potato, though, to help make the puree smooth and thick.

You can also change the soup to your tastes in other ways. Use water or any kind of broth you like. Add a smoked ham hock, some chopped bacon or ham, or smoked turkey to simmer with the vegetables. Puree the soup as coarsely or finely as you like. (My mother used a hand-cranked food mill, but a food processor or blender will work fine, too.) Leave it dairy-free or enrich it with cream, half-and-half, creme fraiche, or sour cream.

One thing my mother always liked to do was bake some white bread cubes in the oven along with a little bacon until golden, then scatter the tasty mixture over each serving. You could just as easily top the soup with grated cheese, or chopped fresh herbs, swirl some pesto into it, or leave it plain.

You see? There are so many ways to get delicious, satisfying results from this cream of root vegetable soup recipe.

Cream of Root Vegetable Soup with Sour Cream

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook time: 20 to 45 minutes

    Yield: Serves 6

Cream of Root Vegetable Soup with Sour Cream Ingredients

    6 cups water or organic store-bought chicken broth

    3 medium organic carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

    2 medium organic parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped

    2 organic celery stalks, coarsely chopped

    1 large russet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

    1 large turnip, peeled and coarsely chopped

    1 large organic leek, white part only, trimmed and split lengthwise, thoroughly rinsed, and cut crosswise into slices

    1/2 large rutabaga, peeled and coarsely chopped

    2 tablespoons chopped Italian (flat-leafed) parsley

    2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

    1/2 teaspoon white pepper

    1 pinch ground coriander

    2 tablespoons whipping cream

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    1/2 cup sour cream

    Minced fresh dill or thinly sliced green onion, for garnish

Cream of Root Vegetable Soup with Sour Cream Recipe Instructions

    If using a pressure cooker, put the water or broth in the pressure cooker and, with the lid off, preheat it on medium-high heat until the liquid begins to simmer.

    Add the carrots, parsnips, celery, potato, turnip, leek, rutabaga, parsley, salt, pepper, and coriander.

    Secure the pressure cooker lid. When high pressure has been reached, reduce the heat to low and set a timer for 12 minutes.

    When 12 minutes are up, turn off the cooker or remove it from the heat and release the pressure, following the manufacturer's instructions.

    If using a soup pot on the stovetop, in the pot combine the water or broth, all of the vegetables, parsley, salt, pepper, and coriander.

    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the soup is fragrant, about 45 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

    Carefully remove the lid from the pressure cooker or uncover the pot. With an immersion blender, puree the soup to the desired consistency, as coarse or smooth as you like. (You can also puree the soup in small batches in a blender or food processor, or through a food mill.) Stir in the cream and butter and adjust the seasonings to taste.

    To serve the soup hot, ladle it into heated serving bowls. Add a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill or green onion to each serving.

    To serve the soup cold, transfer the entire batch to a large heatproof bowl. Let it cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hour or overnight until thoroughly chilled. Ladle into chilled bowls and garnish with sour cream and dill or green onions.

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