Potato and root vegetable soup

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This soup lands on my dining table straight from the farmers market. It epitomizes the rustic and fresh organic veggies I picked up on one of my Sunday morning visits. Fresh turnips, celery, carrots, chives and fennel from a farm about a couple of hours away from San Francisco, cooked together and transformed into a healthy and hearty soup and brought to my table for dinner. That’s what I love about farm-to-table cuisine.

It’s that time of year, with Autumn in the air and an abundance of fresh turnips this season. Together with the trinity of celery, carrots and potato, it is an easy soup to make, simple in taste and very good for you. These vegetables are naturally gluten-free and contain the right amount of vital nutrients and dietary fiber. I have added a flavourful twist by adding the flavours of a fresh bulb of fennel. Finely sliced and sautéed in good ‘ol ghee, not only is it delicious with its licorice taste, but also serves as a pretty garnish along with some fresh chives. A delightful soup this time of year, nutritious and delicious with the hearty goodness of fresh veggies 🙂

Servings 4

Ingredients:

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6 small turnips, diced

1 potato, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 fresh fennel bulb, very thinly sliced

Fresh chives, finely chopped

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Water

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Olive oil – 1 tbsp.

Ghee – 1 tsp.

This is optional – A small rind of fresh cheese, either Parmagianno or in this case Piave cheese, which is an Italian cows milk cheese with a full bodied flavour. Very often, that’s whenever I remember to, I save the the edible rind of any cheese I buy. I keep it to flavour my soups, just add a piece in for a subtle yet satisfying flavour.

Heat ghee in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Sauté the thinly sliced fennel till light golden brown. Set aside.

In the same pot, add the olive oil. Add the turnips, potatoes, carrots and celery and sauté on medium high heat till the vegetables start developing a light pinkish brown color. Add the garlic. Sauté for a minute. Add enough water to cover the vegetables, add enough about 2 inches above the veggies.

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Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover and cook till the vegetables are tender and cooked. Blend the soup, I use a hand blender.

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Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cheese rind. Simmer for a few minutes. Remove the rind and discard.

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Before serving, add the fried fennel and fresh chives. Serve hot.

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