Soup is a wonderful winter food. Satisfying, nutritious, comforting, hydrating –after a winter run, you will enjoy it for all these reasons!
This soup relies on good quality, fresh vegetables for its flavor and aroma. If you’re not already a soup fan, you’ll be astonished at how sweetly delicious it is.
A crock pot or slow cooker enables your soup to be cooking while you’re at work, but a big pot simmering gently on the stove is just as good.
- 100g butter, or 50/50 butter and olive oil
- 1 large leek
- 2 – 3 sticks celery (200-300g)
- carrots (300-500g)
- pumpkin (400-800g)
- 1 large kumara (peeled, or washed well)
- stock or water (or water + stock cube)
Finely slice the leek, celery and carrots.
Heat the butter in a large pot, and add the veges once it is sizzling.
Stir regularly to prevent them burning. Once they have heated up, cook quite gently until they start to look different and smell delicious – no longer raw. They may be a bit golden.
This stage creates a delicious mouth-filling warmth of flavour.
While the veges are frying, chop the kumara and pumpkin. Any kind is good – butternut, squash, whatever you have.
Add the kumara and pumpkin to the pot, cover with water (or stock), and simmer gently until all the vegetables are tender.
You decide the final texture:
- leave it as is
- give it a mash with a potato masher
- thicken it a little: take some out, puree it, and stir back in
- blend it all to a smooth puree
The soup keeps for three or four days in the fridge.
Butter from grass-fed cows is a healthy, traditional fat that creates delicious food and enables maximum absorption of minerals. Veges sizzled in butter are the basis of many delicious dishes from cuisines around the world, from cordon bleu to cajun.
A note on stock
Soups need liquid, and there are great-tasting nutrient-rich alternatives to water and a stock cube.
Creating your own stock is easy, but you do need to plan ahead. For this recipe, we’ll make a 100% vegetable stock. Water is an extraordinary substance - water that has been full of simmering veges changes into something new and different.
Parsley growing at home? Perfect. You can pick a massive bunch (older leaves are fine). If it’s from the shop, a few sprigs are fine. (You can make a stock with just parsley – tastes great once it’s in with the veges!)
A couple of carrots bring goodness and flavour – chop roughly.
A stick of celery – the same.
If you are a keen potato person, try this. Select a few spuds with good healthy skins and wash them well. Peel thickly, and include the peels in your stock (and have mashed potato for dinner!)
Put your ingredients in the slow cooker or pot, cover with boiling water, and put the lid on. Simmer very gently till it looks cooked – anything from 30 minutes to an hour is fine. (Add more water if some boils away.) Strain off the liquid, and put the mushy veges in the compost bin or worm farm or a hole in the garden. The stock won’t taste fabulous now – but wait till the veges are added! The stock will sit happily in the fridge for a few days until you’re ready to use it.