A fantastic wintry soup to warm both you and the globe.
1 very large sweet potato
2 medium-sized parsnips
2 large leeks
1 small carrot
3 cloves garlic
1-inch knob fresh ginger
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp coarse salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Plain yogurt or sour cream and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)Preparation:
Peel your root veggies and chop them into equal-sized cubes (1-2 inches). Chop the dark green parts and root ends off the leeks and discard. Cut leeks in half lengthwise, wash them thoroughly in ice-cold water, then cut into narrow slices crosswise. Peel garlic and ginger, dice and set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot and add leeks, salt and pepper. Soften until just starting to brown, then add balsamic vinegar. Sauté for a minute or two, then add garlic, ginger and all the ground spices. Cook until very aromatic and bottom of pan is brown and crusted with spices, but not burnt.
Add stock and all the root veggies, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes, or until all vegetables are very tender.
Transfer to a food processor or blender, or use a hand-held blender right in the pot. Purée until very smooth. Add more salt or pepper to taste. Add water or more stock if it’s too thick (about a cup should do).
Pour into bowls, garnish and serve.