Root vegetables sometimes get a bad rap, or at least they get passed over at the grocery store. I’m talking about the parsnips, turnips, and yes, even the ubiquitous carrot. Of all the vegetables in the vegetable world, root vegetables seem to be the most difficult, probably because you have to cook them into submission. Once they’re peeled (a very easy step), chop them into chunks and toss into a pot with some broth. It can be chicken or vegetable broth. The choice is yours. Simmer until tender, cool slightly, and then give them some blender treatment — that’s where the creamy part comes in. Before you know it, you’ll have a quick and easy, healthy for you root vegetable soup.
This recipe provides the basics, but expands the concept by adding a small Anaheim pepper for a little punch. It’s a very slight punch — the Anaheim has a rating of 8,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville scale, a mere infant in the hot pepper world, a world where rankings go as high as 2,200,000 units for the Carolina Reaper. That’s one scary hot pepper. The little old Anaheim adds a mild, barely there burn. A touch of fresh ginger also adds zing.
Top the soup with a crumble of diced, browned Aidells Mango smoked chicken sausage and a drizzle of premium quality olive oil. I prefer a chicken sausage for its lower fat content. Serve as a starter course, or on its own with a salad and hearty, brown bread.
Creamy Root Vegetable Soup Recipe
- 1 head garlic
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 – 2 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped, or enough to make 1 tablespoon
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1 small Anaheim pepper
- 6 cups low-salt chicken broth, or more as needed to reach desired consistency
- 1 – 12 ounce package Aidells Mango smoked chicken sausage, links sliced into 1/2 inch rounds and then diced
- premium extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
To cook the recipe:
- Heat oven to 400 °F. Slice off top of garlic head, about1/2 inch so that cloves are exposed. Set on root end in small, oven-safe dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until garlic is soft when poked with a fork. When cool enough to touch, pop garlic cloves from papery skins and reserve. Discard skins. Roasted garlic will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.
- In large stockpot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and warm over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add chopped onion and cook until it begins to brown and soften slightly.
- Add ginger to pot and continue sautéing for 1 minute, until ginger releases its fragrance.
- Pour 1 tablespoon oil into pot and then add root vegetables and Anaheim pepper to the pot and cook, stirring until lightly browned. Increase oil if vegetables are burning. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- While vegetables are cooking, heat medium skillet over medium-high heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Brown sausage until crispy. Set aside.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly. Purée in blender or food processor until creamy and there are no chunks. Pour back into pot and add more broth or water to achieve desired consistency.
- Serve soup in warmed, shallow bowls. Top with sausage and drizzle with premium extra virgin oil.