The Larder TM_TL_RSOUP_FI_001

Welcome, Soup Season


During the summer months, I’m not particularly interested in soup. I am happy to eat my weight in salads, quick pasta sauces and other fresh, crunchy things, but bowls of warm, creamy things have no appeal. Since the cooler days of fall have arrived, my home soup operation is in full swing once again.

Right now, I’m most in love with root vegetable soups. They are quick to make, incredibly filling and quite cheap. Paired with a few whole grain crackers or a hunk of bread, they make such a good lunch. For dinner, I add a salad for a bit of extra greenery.

There’s a basic formula to root vegetable soups. Once you master it, you can easily transform whatever roots your garden, CSA share or local farmers’ market provide into batches of creamy soup (you can also apply these same techniques to winter squash, should you feel so moved).

Start with about two pounds (or thereabouts) of root vegetables. Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets or parsnips are all delicious. Chop your roots and then cook them until they’re tender, by either roasting them in the oven or simmering them in your soup liquid until they are soft. If you want to add some flavor (onions, garlic or spices), now’s the time.

Puree your cooked roots with hot stock or water (2 to 3 cups per pound of veg). You can use an immersion blender and puree them directly in your soup pot or transfer them to a blender or food processor. If you’re using a blender or food processor, make sure that your lid is fitted tightly to prevent geysers of hot soup from spraying everywhere. Finally, taste the soup and balance the flavors with a little more salt or a splash of acid (lemon juice or vinegar).

I like to soften my soups with a little cream, yogurt or coconut milk. They add a nice texture and also ensure that your soups are better able satiate you. Just a bit of fat will ensure that your bowl of soup leaves you full for hours, not minutes.

One of the things I like most about soups like these is that they’re easy to adapt for even the strictest diets. They’re perfect to serve to friends who don’t eat meat or dairy products. Put out a bar of toppings, including toasted nuts, garlicky breadcrumbs and grated cheese and let your dinner guests go to town.

Carrot Almond Soup


  • 2 pounds of carrots, scrubbed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup almond butter


Place chopped carrots on a rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sage, salt and pepper. Toss to ensure that carrots are coated with oil and that spices are evening distributed. Place in a 400° F oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, until the carrots are browned and tender.

Place roasted carrots in the carafe of a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add warmed stock and almond butter and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Serve hot.

Makes 8 cups

Curried Sweet Potato Soup


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 14.5-ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1 quart water


In a 4 quart or larger soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, curry powder and salt and cook until the spices are fragrant and the onions are soft and sweet.

Add sweet potatoes and stir them until they’re coated in spice and onions. Add coconut milk and water and cover pot.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the sweet potatoes are easily mashed with a fork. Remove pot from heat and puree soup with an immersion blender until it is very creamy. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Serve hot.

Makes 8 cups

Roasted Beet Soup


  • 2 1/2 pounds red beets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar


Scrub and dry the beets. Place them in a small roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover pan tightly with foil and roast in a 400° F oven for 30 minutes, until beets can be pierced easily with a fork all the way through.

Let beets rest until they’re cool enough to handle and peel the skins away (they should rub away with little force). Chop into quarters.

Place cooked beets in the carafe of a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add warmed stock, yogurt and cream and blend until smooth. Add vinegar and blend to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Serve hot.

Makes 8 cups

Marisa McClellan is a food blogger, freelance writer and canning teacher based in Center City Philadelphia. She runs a website called Food in Jars, where she writes about canning, preserving and delicious things made from scratch. She regularly writes for the Food Network, USA Today, Grid Philly and Mrs. Wages. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.


  1. Marisa says:

    Annie, these soups aren’t safe for canning. They are too low in acid to be safely canned in a boiling water bath canner and the USDA does not recommend that you use a pressure canner to preserve purees. They are best frozen.

  2. Cleo Dailey says:

    Would it be possible to process these soups so that they can be stored for later consumption

  3. Cleo Dailey says:

    Thanks Marisa…. just saw your comment and I will freeze them! You are the best!!!

  4. margarita says:

    Add curry to carrot soups, garlic powder, and intead of oil, butter once they are cooked, they taste delicious! and a drop of sour cream on top when it’s going to be served, a nice contrast!

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