Leek, Carrot and Turnip Soup

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Soup should be simple. And this one is just about the simplest. The title says it all – 3 vegetables plus garlic and herbs and voila! Perfect for an unexpected snow day in the middle of March. Leeks and turnips make an unbelievably flavorful broth.

1 large leek (1 1/2 inches wide and about 14 inches long) or 2 small leeks
5 carrots
1 medium turnip
1 1/2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence (or combination of any of these herbs: basil, marjoram, thyme, parsley, tarragon, rosemary)
4 garlic cloves
8 cups water
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon kelp powder or salt to taste
Optional: 1/3 cup dried mushrooms or 1 cup fresh mushrooms.

1. Slice the leek lengthwise. Open it up and rinse the leaves making sure to remove any dirt. Chop in 1/4 inch wide pieces, both white and dark greens parts.
2. Chop carrots in 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide circles.
3. Peel turnip and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
4. Mince garlic
5. Put the vegetables and garlic in a large stock pot, cover with a cup of water and cook on medium heat until vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the remaining water and herbs and, if using, kelp powder and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 40 minutes.
7. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

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