Few dishes can comfort your body and your soul on a cold winter day than a hearty soup. This Root Vegetable Soup with Herb Croutons will chase away any chill and is perfect served for a weekday dinner or lunch on a snow day.
Each year my husband and I pack up our winter clothes and head out west for our annual ski + snow board trip. The last few years we have be able to meet up with family and friends to spend the week enjoying the cold weather and if we are lucky a snow storm or two.
It has become my tradition on these ski trips to have a day or two by myself to head to the local market, cook up a new recipe, sip some wine and simply enjoy the day in the house while the others are on the slopes. Everyone wins on this day – I am a happy girl cooking and doing my thing and the frozen snowboarders are happy when they come home to a hot meal at the end of the long day.
This year we traveled to Breckenridge, Colorado and rented a condo perfectly situated one block out of town and two blocks from the local market, which by the way I could have spent an entire day in looking at their selection of local, organic and speciality products. Also close by was the larger City Market where I was able to pick up a few additional ingredients for the Root Vegetable Soup and Herb Croutons.
This soup recipe came about based on the best looking root vegetables at the market, a few ingredients that where already in the house from the last renters and one of my favorite winter herbs, Sage. Grated Gruyere cheese adds a touch of richness and saltiness to the croutons and to the soup in general – feel free to top off your bowl with a few extra grated teaspoons for extra flavor.
As hoped, the soup was a huge hit. At the end of the day the gang of chilled skiers opened the door to a house filled with the warm aroma of a pot of soup on the stove and toasty croutons in the oven. The day and meal were a success for everyone.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chopped red onion
- 5 cup chopped leeks, white and light green part only
- 3 cup rough chopped carrots
- 3 cups chopped parsnips
- 2 larger chopped potatoes
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock, plus more as needed
- pinch of salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups cubed country bread, about ½-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
- In a large, heavy bottom pot on medium heat warm the olive oil and butter. Add vegetables and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and potatoes.
- Add chicken stock, bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 25 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
- To add thickness to the soup broth, separate 2-3 cups of the soup and puree in a blender then
- pour back into the main soup pot. Add extra chicken stock if necessary.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, add the cubed bread, drizzle with olive oil and add the chopped sage and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well until bread cubes and covered.
- Spread bread cubes out onto a baking sheet. Top with grated cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes.
- The croutons are ready when brown and cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and set aside until soup is ready to serve.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with 3 - 4 sage croutons.
- Chop all vegetables in 1 inch rough chops.
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