It’s Winter…everywhere except here in California! We have been having this really wonderful days, 70 degrees and blue skies, which would be great except the horrible drought that is plaguing us.
For this reason our Farmers Market has been almost totally depleted of vegetables. Between the extreme frost of December and the dryness, barely anything survives.
Only one thing is doing well: ROOTS! So last Saturday I stocked up on parsnips, beets and carrots, without even thinking what I will cook with them.
Last night they all came together in a new variation of one of my classics, root soup, this time with a twist, bacon!
I am in love with the hearty flavor of a great vegetable soup, having grown up with plenty of minestrones, but meat adds a special touch. It’s that extra bit of flavor, that irreplaceable umami. Bacon adds a whole new layer of taste, a lovely smokiness, a delicious sweet porky flavor! The broth adds the other layer of depth, in this case I used bone broth I made with the leftover goat leg but you can use any bone broth you have handy.
Root soup is really a bounty of the earth: not only is cheap, it’s easy to make and it’s really good for you!
- Parsnips contain niacin, a B vitamin needed for energy metabolism, Folate and vitamin C. They have a diuretic effect and help clean the liver and gallbladder
- Beets contain Folic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Alpha Carotene and fiber. They purify the blood, help detox the liver and treat constipation.
- Carrots are one of the richest sources of beta carotene, contain vitamin A, vitamin K, biotin and fiber. Those antioxidant compounds protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- 2 tablespoons fat of choice (bacon drippings, lard, butter)
- 1 sweet organic onion
- 3 medium organic parsnips
- 5 medium organic carrots
- 3 medium organic beets
- 3 uncured bacon slices
- 1 quart bone broth
- 2 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon dry herb mix (thyme, rosemary, oregano)
- ½ teaspoon dry chili flakes
- Melt fat in a Dutch Oven or other heavy bottom stock pot
- slice the onion thinly and add to the fat on a low flame
- sweat the onion for about 5 min.
- in the meantime wash and trim all the root vegetables and chop in small pieces (about 1 inch long)
- Add herbs to the pot
- Add the root vegetables to the pot a bit at the time as you are cutting them, mixing well every time, letting them sweat with the onions
- Cut the bacon slice in small pieces (inch wide) and add to the pot
- After stirring for another 5 minutes add the broth and the water to the pot
- Raise the flame to high and bring to a boil
- Reduce flame to low and cover the pot
- Simmer lightly for about 1.5 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
If you would like more wonderful soup recipes, please check out my community e-book Winter Soups!