More and more farmers’ markets are staying open practically year around here in the greater Portland area because of customer demand for fresh, locally grown produce. The market I participated in for many years just recently changed its schedule from opening on Mother’s Day weekend and running to Thanksgiving to being open 10 months, February to Thanksgiving. Those winter months would have been way too cold for me as a vendor, but as a customer I can bundle up and dash in and out…long enough to gather up essentials and say hello to friends.
I was in the mood for a hearty vegetable soup so chose a good variety of root veggies at DENOBLE FARM’S booth. If you aren’t familiar with this group of vegetables…especially parsnips, turnips, rutabagas and celery root …this is a great way to try them. You will be amazed at how much flavor they add to soups and stews. I picked up a fresh baguette and some cheese and was on my way home in a flash. Canned broth makes a decent soup but homemade stock is what it’s all about. I bought enough soup vegetables for a pot of stock as well. Soup bones used to be so common in most grocery stores and could be bought cheap…not any more. I chose oxtails for the stock and had plenty of meat to add to the pot. At the end of the cooking time if your soup is too thick just add a little more stock. I wanted to thicken the soup just a bit so gave it a few second blast with an immersion blender and that did the trick.
IT’S A SOUP KIND OF DAY…WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?
- 12 cups or more beef stock, purchased or homemade
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, large dice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 small celery root, peeled and diced
- 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and diced
- 1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
- 1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced.
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 more minute. Add the celery root, carrot, rutabaga, turnip, and parsnip and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add white beans, tomatoes, beef stock, parsley,bay leaves, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 45-60 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add more stock if soup is too thick. I give the soup a blast or two with my immersion blender to thicken it just a little bit.