Soup has been around for centuries and previous generations did not use a recipe. They simply dumped various ingredients into a pot to boil. And each culture adopted its own variation with whatever was on hand. For my readers who feel more comfortable using a list of ingredients, throw caution to the wind and be like our ancestors. If you have vegetables looking as though they’re in need of rescuing, a soup is a perfect place for them and you’ll feel better knowing you used them instead of throwing them in the bin.
I had an acorn squash and a half empty bag of parsnips that needed to be used – sooner than later. Soup makes use of practically any veggie you have on hand – even the ones that might have a bit of bitterness to them can be softened simply by making it the lesser of the ingredients you place in the pot or by adding a bit of cream at the end. Adding sea salt at the end, too, can help neutralize any bitterness.
- 1 squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 2 to 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- sprinkle or two of ground cumin
- olive oil
- seas salt and freshly ground black pepper
- water (3 to 4 cups)
- feta cheese (topping)
- lime wedge (optional)
- In a large pot over medium heat, add a generous splash of olive oil then toss in chopped onion. You could also use leeks instead of the onion. Allow onions to become soft then add squash and parsnips. Stir to combine and let the heat warm the vegetables. I like to add a bit more olive oil if the bottom of the pot is looking dry. Cook for another 5 or so minutes then add the cumin and whole garlic. I love the aromatics when cumin meets the warmth of a pot so be generous but no more than a tablespoon – you want a hint of the spice.
- Now it’s time to add the water. You want to cover the veggies and then some. I like to start out with two or three cups of water and add more if needed. Increase heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rolling simmer and leave covered for 20 to 30 minutes.
- When vegetables are fork tender, remove from heat and use a hand blender. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve with crumbled feta cheese and freshly grated black pepper.