RECIPE FOR CHAPTER 6, PASSING THE BATON
Russ’s Root Vegetable Soup
When our garden is frosted out, winter vegetables take center stage. Low fat and flavorful, this soup is perfect when the weather turns cold. Russ created this recipe and does all the chopping, always making a big pot, as it improves significantly as it ages and the flavors meld; it will be much better on the fifth or sixth night. If you can wait, it’s best to not even eat it on the first day.
With a good crusty loaf of bread and a couple of bottles of wine, this recipe serves eight as a main course. The distinctive mushroom and truffle earthiness of Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir is a perfect match for the deep, rich earthy sweetness and piquancy of the soup.
The amounts of the core ingredients (the rutabagas, turnips, and parsnips) can be varied according to personal taste — use more rutabagas and fewer parsnips, for example, as long as the total of the three is about 6 to 6½ pounds.
One large sweet onion (Vidalia, Maui, Walla Walla)
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
2 pounds rutabagas
2 pounds turnips
2 pounds parsnips
2 large carrots
1 pound garnet yams
1 one-quart carton organic roasted vegetable stock
1 one-quart carton organic mushroom broth
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T dried basil
¼ t lemon peel
¼ t pepper
Large (7 to 8 quart) stock pot with cover
Chop the onion into a large dice.
Peel the rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and yams. Be sure to peel enough of the rutabaga to remove the greenish parts, which can be bitter. Cut all the vegetables into bite-sized chunks (not too small).
Heat the oil in the pot and add the onion. Sauté on low to medium heat for about five minutes, until soft and translucent.
Smash and mince the garlic and add it to the pot. Cook for a minute or two.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the rutabagas. Cook, stirring frequently, for about five minutes.
Add each ingredient one at a time: first the carrots, then the yams, then the turnips, then the parsnips, allowing four or five minutes between each and stirring frequently.
After the parsnips are added and cooked for a few minutes, add the cartons of stock and broth, and the basil, lemon peel, and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
After the soup has come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for an hour or two with the lid slightly open. The longer it cooks, the better.