The great thing about this soup is that you can really use whatever vegetables you want. I have used peeled chunks of parsnips, turnips, and even canned or frozen corn. This is heavily adapted from Molly Katzen’s “Still Life With Menu Cookbook” who also suggests trying brussel sprouts, rutabaga, kohlrabi and sunchokes. I usually make it a day ahead and let it sit so that the flavors mingle.
2+ Tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped leeks
2 – 3 carrots, chopped
2 – 3 stalks celery, chopped
a handful of small potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled and quartered
1 cup peeled chopped butternut squash (and/or pumpkin or sweet potato)
¾ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne, to taste (I use approx 1/8 teaspoon)
several cloves garlic, minced
3 cups stock or water (I always use stock –vegetable or chicken boxed or homemade)
1 cup (packed) stemmed and chopped Swiss chard or other greens
1 can of diced tomatoes, juice and all
1 ½ teaspoons dried dill
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
sour cream or plain yogurt and chopped herbs of your choice for garnish
In a soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the first 10 ingredients (everything through the garlic) over moderate heat, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir intermittently.
Add stock or water. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer. Cover and let it cook slowly until everything is tender (another 15 – 20 min.)
Add greens and tomatoes. Simmer about 5 more minutes.
Add dried herbs, soy sauce, lemon juice and continue to simmer another 3 – 5 minutes
Add dollop of sour cream or yogurt just before serving and garnish with sunflower seeds and parsley (I don’t like the seeds).
Serves 5 -6.