Soup for a Winter’s Night

NESF Farmer's Root Vegetable Soup (1)

In my mind, there are few things better than a warm, homemade soup on a cold winter’s night. We love this Farmer’s Root Vegetable Soup recipe from Marjorie Druker of New England Soup Factory. Carrots, yams, fennel, and parsnips make this soup hearty and satisfying.


Farmer’s Root Vegetable Soup
Marjorie Druker, Chef, New England Soup Factory 

Makes 10-12 servings

As much as I love the deep, rich flavor of chicken, sometimes I just want chunks of vegetables without the meat. Root vegetables have a strong, unmistakably earthy identity. They cost relatively little, but their rich, concentrated flavor makes them seem expensive. Carrots and the garnet yams (an orange-red variety) give this soup a royal glow. If you can’t find garnet yams, substitute regular yams or sweet potatoes. This is one of the easiest recipes I make—once you cut the vegetables, the soup just simmers until it’s done. When you sit down to eat, you feel like you’re digging into a big bowl of edible jewels.

Garnet yams are an orange-red variety also sometimes called red yams. I am partial to their bright color in this soup. The yam and the sweet potato are often confused with one another, but they come from entirely different plants. What they do have in common is their sweet and starchy properties, which makes them fairly interchangeable in recipes. In this soup, you could substitute any type of yam or sweet potato if you can’t find the garnets.


1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
6 carrots, peeled and diced
3 large garnet yams, peeled and diced into chunks
3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
3 cups turnips, peeled and diced into chunks
1 bulb celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into chunks
14 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place the onion, celery, fennel, carrots, yams, parsnips, turnips and celeriac in a large stockpot. Add the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the dill, salt, and pepper.

Eat and enjoy!

Pictured above: a vegetable soup from New England Soup Factory

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