janet @ the taste space

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on January 28, 2017 at 8:01 AM

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

You know it is a great soup when I make it two weeks in a row. It is not often that I repeat recipes in such rapid succession, but I only ate 2 servings and had planned to share it with our baby. I thought it was ok for him until I realized I used broth powder with salt in it.

Round two was solidified. Without any vegetable broth. The necessary salt was added after we removed baby P’s portion.

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

This soup is very versatile. I was drawn to it because I bought 5 lbs of rutabagas (which I’ve used already). Other root vegetables could easily be used in this soup. The original recipe called for regular potatoes but I used sweet potatoes. Parsnips or turnips would also be lovely. The trick is to chop them into small bite-sized pieces. I added in lentils, which, when partially pureed, made Rob compare this to beef soup. I think a touch of marmite would also be lovely (not suitable for babes, though, so I haven’t tried it yet).

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

I must admit I was drawn to this book because it is more about root cellars than recipes, and we have a love-hate relationship with our cold room. Too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. However, this winter has been pretty mild, so we haven’t had too many frozen veggies yet. I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly go through the information about root cellars, but hope to at one point. I’d love to perfect our cold room and use this book to make it better.

In the meantime, this soup is simply delicious and a winner in its own merit.

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in Canada or the United States. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your experience with a root cellar. Do you have one? If not, do you want to make one? The winner will be selected at random on February 12, 2017. Good luck!

Root Cellar Medley Soup + Complete Root Cellar Book GIVEAWAY

Root Cellar Medley Soup
Courtesy of The Complete Root Cellar Book: Building Plans, Uses and 100 Recipes, reprinted with permission by Robert Rose

Author’s note: You can change up the vegetables you use in this soup to suit your tastes or what’s left in your stores.

1 tbsp vegetable oil                                15 mL
1 small onion or leek (white and light green part only), chopped
1 cup diced carrots                               250 mL
1 cup diced peeled potatoes             250 mL (Janet’s note: I used sweet potato)
1 cup diced rutabaga or turnip          250 mL
1/2 cup sliced celery                               125 mL
1/2 tsp dried thyme                                    2 mL (Janet’s note: I used 1 tsp)
4 cups reduced-sodium ready-to-use
 vegetable or chicken broth (approx.) 1L (Janet’s note: I used 5 cups since I added lentils)
1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained (Janet’s addition)
2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)            30 mL
2 tbsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar 30 mL
1 tsp salt, or to taste                              5 mL
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste    1 mL
Chopped fresh parsley

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add carrots, potatoes, rutabaga, celery and thyme; sauté for 5 minutes or until carrots start to soften.
  2. Add stock and lentils (if using) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
  3. Whisk in tomato paste (if using) and vinegar. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. I used an immersion blender to partially blend the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Tip: When chopping or dicing vegetables for soup that won’t be puréed, keep in mind that the pieces should fit nicely on a spoon, allowing room for at least two pieces per spoonful, to keep each bite flavorful.

Courtesy of The Complete Root Cellar Book: Building Plans, Uses and 100 Recipes by Steve Maxwell & Jennifer MacKenzie © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Credit for cover image: Colin Erricson

Contest Rules: No purchase necessary. Contest period begins Saturday, January 28, 2017 and ends Sunday, February 12, 2017. For American and Canadian residents only. Approximate retail value US$24.95. Enter by writing a comment answering the prompt for a chance to win.  Entrants must supply a valid email address. Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours.

  1. This looks fabulous and just perfect for the cold winter months.

  2. We don’t have a root cellar but have often wished for one especially at harvest time. We have a large garden. Lovely recipe!

  3. A root cellar sounds like an interesting idea, but I live in a condo building, so it’s not feasible for me right now!

  4. I don’t have a “real” root cellar but I use a cool corner closet in our basement which works OK for much of the winter. However, I vividly remember going with my Grandmother to her “real” root cellar to help bring up carrots, onions, potatoes and canned goods. It was a little eerie – lit by a single ceiling light bulb and I was sure there were spiders lurking in the corners. How fun it would be to learn how to bring that experience into my own adult life and share with my children.

  5. What a lovely recipe! I think I’ll add some kale when I make it (my kale plants are still alive, albeit fairly sparse on greens by this time of winter…should have enough baby leaves to add to one more pot of soup),

    We have built a root cellar/tornado shelter, but we haven’t figured out the ventilation issues to actually use it as a root cellar. It has, however, already been pressed into use several times during tornado warnings.last year. Previous owners of our home lost their high school aged son to a tornado, back in the 80s. While ‘just’ using it as a tornado shelter definitely justifies its existence, I still hope to work out the kinks and make it a valid root cellar, too.

  6. My grandparents used to have a root cellar. I remember lots of jars of pickles, jams alongside the roots. It would help us through the long tough Russian winter. Had they not stored/preserved enough, we’d have been forced to line up in the store and get second grade quality. Whereas there’s no need to store such vast quantities today, I like the idea of always been prepared for whatever life brings. Such a lovely adaptable recipe!

  7. I don’t have a root cellar. It is something that I would like to have once I move to a bigger space.

  8. We currently don’t have a root cellar, but would like to in the future.


  9. Sounds like interesting times thinking about eating with baby – glad you all enjoyed it – and interested in the root cellars – I don’t know anyone with one but you talk of them as though they are quite common!

  10. i wish I did have a root cellar – maybe someday if I ever get back in a little house I could ….

  11. i have zero experiences. hopefully one day..

  12. There is a root cellar in my basement but I have never used it as it because it is so musty smelling and seems to be where the field mice hang out in the winter.

  13. Ohhhh yeahhh…! That’s my kind of soup.
    And a book about root cellar ?! Wow…that’s definitely for me, for me, for me….! Hi hi ! Thanks for that nice giveaway Janet.
    Ahhhh…when we built our house about 10 years ago, I so regreted not planning a real and nice root cellar. I want one so badly…! Actually, we use a room as a kind of root cellar, but it is not made acording to the real speck.
    We have a garden…and a pretty big one, so a root cellar is a must in a near future.
    So you can imagine that I would be really excited about this book. Yeahhh…!
    Thanks again Janet and have a great day.

  14. This looks like perfect comfort food! I’ve never had a root cellar but would love one in the future, especially since we survive on root vegetables in the winter. I’m big on gardening but moving around a lot in the past couple of years has made it more difficult to have a large garden – I can see this book being really helpful in years to come, though.

  15. So good! I can’t get enough soups in the winter. This one sounds right up my alley! Yum! I wish I could have my own root cellar!

  16. Well, I have no real experience with root cellars, and living in Richmond BC means that in-ground root cellars aren’t a possibility at all (parts of the city are actually below sea level). BUT – a while back I picked up a book on root cellars and I was interested to find out that the concept of ‘cellaring’ can apply to garages, refrigerators, etc. I’m still learning and trying to figure out what I can do exactly, but it’s been an encouraging experience. And this lovely winter soup certainly looks like a good reason to figure it all out in the end. Cheers.

  17. I uSed to grow Plants!

  18. This soup looks like comfort in a bowl. So nourishing and hearty! I know it probably tastes divine. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. I have no experience with a root cellar, but have always been intrigued by them.

  20. I am would love a root cellar but have not researched how I would go about making a secure one rodents wouldn’t get into. This book would be a great place to start my research! The medley soup sounds awesome too!

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