Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Farmhouse Soup

My wife was working New Year's Eve, so I did what any good nerd would do - I invited my friends over to play Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, it's a life of non-stop thrills and chills over here at Cook And Destroy.

I know I've been inflicting a lot of soups on my friends and family, but it's something I'm simply trying to get good at so I do it a lot. I have a few ideas for some new dishes and hope to explore them very soon. I also hope to update more regularly in 2010.

Today I want to share a really delicious root vegetable soup. There are some excellent flavor profiles in this dish. It's a lot more varied and interesting than one might think. This soup took me about 2 hours to prepare.

Winter Farmhouse Soup

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, cut into large chunks
6-7 ounces turnips, cut into large chunks
6 ounces parsnips, cut into large chunks
14 ounce can chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dried macaroni
14 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the carrot, turnip and parsnip chunks, canned chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, dried mixed herbs and dried oregano. Stir in a little sea salt and plenty of pepper to taste.

2. Pour in the vegetable stock or water and bring to a boil. Stir well, cover, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the pasta to the pan and bring quickly to a boil, stirring. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 8 minutes until the pasta is only just tender. Stir frequently.

4. Stir in the kidney beans. heat through for 2-3 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley. Taste the soup for seasoning. Serve hot in warmed soup bowls with grated Parmesan.

Feel free to substitute fresh herbs or just a few herbs for the dried mixed herbs. The dried mixed herbs are just a quick, easy way to add flavor to the dish. Regarding the stock, I really need to spend a day making stocks to freeze and save for dishes such as this one.

Play on, playa.


  1. My wife and I cook a similar soup that does not use pasta and does use some polish sausage. It's a very filling and hearty dish. We use just a small amount of sliced sausage, not too much meat but enough to give it a nice smokiness.

  2. I love the suggestion. The smokiness imparted to the stock must be really nice. Thanks for the tip!