Thursday, 14 February 2013

Nourishing Root-Vegetable & Wild Rice Soup

I haven't done much cooking over the last few weeks (actually months as you might have guessed). Somehow yo-yoing  being either sick or too busy I spent most of my evenings eating sandwiches or cereal. But even the most cereal-obsessed person will start craving something 'real' at some point. I reached this point last week and made a soup that not only tasted amazing but also lasted me for another 4 meals (which means the no-time excuse doesn't work anymore).

Anyhow, what can I tell you about this soup - it's a really pretty colour, it's good for you (my body didn't know what to do with all the vitamins and minerals it hadn't seen in weeks), and I was excited because I finally had a reason to use all this wild-rice I had sitting around in my pantry. If you can't get hold of wild-rice I would probably skip it because I put it in the soup for the texture and basmati just wouldn't be the same.
Also, at the risk of sounding patronising - it's a soup, replace some or all of the vegetables for other root-vegetables and I'm sure it's still going to be a nice soup. There was nothing scientific going on with my vegetable-choice. I simply went for the stuff that looked like it wanted to be used up in the next few days and added some other stuff that looked pretty.

Oh, and in case you are wondering - all my veg is from my local farmer's market - they were all on the small side of the spectrum.

Nourishing Root-Vegetable & Wild Rice Soup
4 small Beets
3 small Carrots (I used a mix of cooking carrots and purple carrots)
2 medium Parsnips
3 Celery Stalks
4 small Potatoes
1 small Onion
1/2 cup Wild Rice
Enough vegetable stock to cover the vegetables
Salt, Pepper and whatever other spices you like

Cook the wild rice for 35-45 minutes in slightly salted water, drain and set aside. While the wild rice is cooking away, start on the veg.
Peel the beets etc. and wash the celery and cut it all into chunks - the cooking time is based on the chunks you can see in the photo above, if you make them smaller or bigger, adjust the cooking time.
Heat some oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot and sauté the onion until it becomes glassy. Add the carrot, parsnip, and celery pieces and give them a minute or two. Add the potato and beetroot and give things a good stir.
Add enough stock to cover the vegetables, cover the pan and simmer away over low to medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
Don't forget the wild rice.
Check how the vegetables are doing (the beets will take longer than the potatoes to become super-soft, but I like them fairly 'al dente' so I use the potatoes as a measure of doneness) when you feel they have about 10 minutes left to go, add the wild rice.
Once the vegetables are cooked but are hopefully still not falling to pieces, season and admire the colour of the soup.
Personally, I don't think you need bread with this soup but crackers make everything better. Oh, and a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream won't hurt either.

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