Winter Vegetable Soup Recipe

This recipe is adapted from The Cleaner Plate Club: More Than 100 Recipes for Real Food Your Kids Will Love, by Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin. “Parmesan rinds are the secret to a rich flavor in nearly any soup,” advises Bader, the mother of a 6-year-old. “When you finish up a wedge of Parmesan cheese, save the rind and freeze it for later use. When you add the rind to a hot soup, it will melt a bit and little pieces of Parmesan will blend into the soup. ” Tip: She finds farro, an ancient strain of grain, in the bulk foods aisle

Makes 12 servings

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2/3 cup chopped carrot (about
3 medium carrots)
2/3 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tbsp dried summer savory
2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 small Parmesan rinds, optional
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small (¼-inch cubes)
1 lb winter squash, peeled and diced small (¼-inch cubes)
1 cup farro, rinsed and drained or 1 cup lentils, rinsed, sorted and drained
1 bunch (about 12 oz) kale or chard greens, stemmed and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Warm the oil over medium-low heat and add the onion, carrot and celery. Sweat this combination, known as a mirepoix, until the onion is translucent.

2. Add the stock and the savory, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the sweet potato, squash and Parmesan rinds, and then simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Add the farro or lentils and simmer for 30 more minutes (or until the lentils, if present, are al dente).

4. Add the greens, and simmer for 5 more minutes.

5. Remove the bay leaf and Parmesan rinds. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Annie B. Bond blogs and writes at AnnieBBond.com. Beth Bader blogs at ExpatriatesKitchen.blogspot.com and EatLocalChallenge.com.

Claire O’Neil is a freelance writer in Kansas City, MO.

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