Creamy Winter Vegetable Soup & Chanukah Hugging Stars

Dec 19, 2011

I’ll be honest; I haven’t been underneath any mistletoe since a fantastically bad holiday party that led to an incredibly fun few weeks way back before I was married.

We don’t have any mistletoe.

What we do have thanks to Will the 4-year-old are hugging stars.  What are they?  Same concept, less prickly.  He wanted to hang some Chanukah decorations (or Hannukah – there are many ways to spell this holiday as I wrote about here) and after I commented about the placement of mistletoe, I came back to find his handiwork on a sign.

So what to do next?

Hug and eat soup.


*PS I realize that the shot of the stars might lead one to believe we live in a house designed by Escher, with only doorways that lead into other doorways. We do not.

Creamy Winter Vegetable Soup

This soup can incorporate as many root veggies as you have around - if you have celeriac or sweet potato, fennel or kohlrabi, you can add those or more onion. Perfect served alongside latkes or salad.

3-4 leeks, washed, trimmed, and sliced into rounds

2 large carrots, peeled and cut any which way

1 red onion, peeled and sliced

4-5 celery stalks plus leaves, chopped

2-3 tbsp olive oil

1 turnip, peeled and cut into wedges

1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into wedges

1 winter squash (I prefer buttercup), roasted and scooped out

salt to taste

1-2 cup vegetable stock

1/2 - 1 cup half&half

white pepper to taste

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp Marmite (or try Worcestershire sauce - not for vegans)

1 tsp lemon juice

watercress (optional)

Warm the olive oil in a deep pot. Place the leeks, carrots, onion and celery in pot and let cook, turning every now and again, until leeks and onions are nearly wilting. Add all other vegetables and let warm, coating with oil. Add some salt and mix. Add vegetable stock - you want enough to nearly cover the vegetables (you can add more later if need be). Let come to boil, reduce to simmer, and cover for 15-20 min. Remove from heat and check to make sure you can easily mash the veg. Add half&half little by little. Use a hand blender or puree in batches. Soup should be thick enough to stand a spoon in (unless you like a thinner soup in which case add more stock or cream). Add pepper, mustard, Marmite, and lemon juice and adjust salt to taste. Serve with watercress for a nice peppery garnish. Hug someone you love.