I’m wondering how many more weeks of winter we have left in St. Louis, because I’m wondering how many more weeks I can make a pot of soup without looking weird. It’s been a very mild winter, and so here we are, Feb. 22nd, and my tulips are already starting to grow. I am holding back on working on the garden until mid-March as I would expect that we have a few more frosts (possibly even one more snow) to go until growing season is in fully effect.

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With that rationalization, I am still making my weekly soup. After all, Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now still has plenty of recipes for soup and hearty cold-weather braises. Here is a delightfully healthy soup I adapted from her book.

Potato, Leek, and Parsnip Soup adapted from Cook This Now
Serves 4-6

5 tbsp unsalted butter
4 leeks, white and light green parts
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
32 oz unsalted chicken broth
3-4 springs of thyme, or about 1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed red pepper

Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Add celery and cook for additional 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another mi ute, or until fragrant. Add root vegetables, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cook for about 25 minutes or until root veggies are cooked through. You may want too add a cup or two of more water as this is cooking to make sure there is enough liquid. Once veggies are cooked, remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf, puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add crushed red pepper.

Serve with a hunk of crusty bread and enjoy! It’s filling and healthy! Great for those of us who are (still) working off those pesky Christmas treats. Heading downstairs for some TurboFire as we speak.

Beth