Butternut and Root Vegetable Soup

It’s Fall, the sun has shifted, days are bright, crisp and sadly becoming shorter. For me, there is a certain nostalgia, a wistfulness about the changing season and the impending long winter (which I have never gotten used to after growing up in sunny South Africa). Luckily, it’s also the time of incredible abundance as the summer crops are replaced by earthy, hearty and warming foods. Salads and the lighter meals of summer turn into soups and roasts that feel nurturing and grounding and the outdoor grill gives way to the warmth of the indoor oven and stove top. One of my and Frank’s favorite fall soups is Butternut and Root Vegetable Soup. It’s warm, smooth, rich in color and incredibly satisfying to eat. Please enjoy!

Butternut and Root Vegetable Soup ( serves 8 )

1 large butternut peeled, seeded and cubed
3 carrots peeled and chopped
3 parsnips peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 large onion peeled and chopped
2 leeks cleaned and chopped (white parts only)
8 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves fresh garlic crushed
1 teaspoon ground thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Heat oil in a large pot, add onion and garlic and stir-fry till the onion is soft.

2. Add remaining vegetables, thyme and salt and pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes.

3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer till all the vegetables are soft (about 45 minutes).

4. Cool before pureeing.

5. Adjust seasonings and re-heat before serving.

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