This chicory and root vegetables soup is easy to make, using seasonal vegetables. It’s the perfect winter soup to warm you up from the inside out!
- Olive oil to help caramelize the onion, garlic and chicory
- Garlic cloves – Because garlic always adds a little something to a dish!
- Onion – Caramelizing the onion to add some lovely flavor to the chicory-heavy soup.
- Chicory – If you don’t have chicory, you can substitute it for cabbage.
- Turnips – Turnips give the soup a hint of sweetness that other root vegetables can’t provide.
- Radish (I used watermelon radish) – To spice it up a bit
- Celeriac – Adding celeriac or celery root to the soup adds a bit more substance to it.
- Celery sticks – Adding celery is almost a must for soups!
- Tomatoes (or 1 can of diced tomatoes) – Tomatoes provide some extra juice to go with the broth
- Broth (I use homemade that isn’t salted) – Use however much broth you like, depending on how watery you want your soup to be
- Seasonings: Salt (use less if using already salted broth), black pepper, paprika, curry seasoning
- Nutritional yeast – This is optional. I just like to add a bit of Vitamin B12 to dishes whenever possible.
- Green onions – optional topping to give it a bit of crunch
Why You’ll Love It
This chicory and root vegetable soup is the perfect winter recipe. All the ingredients are seasonally appropriate! It’s light in calories, but feels filling thanks to the root vegetables. This soup is delicious, it warms you up from the inside and best of all, it’s easy to make! Once everything is in the pot, go ahead and clean up the very minimal mess you made for prepping and you are good to go! Delicious dinner ready? Check! Clean up done? Check!
Background to the Chicory and Root Vegetable Soup
This chicory and root vegetables soup recipe comes in handy, ESPECIALLY if you get your veggies through a farm share. All these ingredients came in one single week’s winter box for me (and were repeated thereafter). I looked up various recipes on how to use chicory, but nothing appealed to me. Some recipes would have required me to go out and buy additional ingredients, which would mean that I wouldn’t get to all of the farm share veggies. That just wouldn’t make any sense! So, I came up with this soup instead.
I’ve made this soup with various substitutions, always using what I was receiving each week with my CSA. I’ve substituted cabbage for chicory, carrots for turnips, different types of radishes, and canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones. I liked every single batch I made. But the combination in this recipe has been my favorite so far! The tender chicory and the slightly sweet turnips, combined with fresh tomatoes – that’s what does it!
How to Prepare
Mince the garlic, wash and cut all your vegetables into bite sizes.
In a large soup pot, warm some olive oil (about 2 tbsp) and sauté the onions and garlic until slightly browned.
Add the cut chicory and cook covered with a lid for about 2 minutes and then without a lid for about 5 minutes until the chicory becomes slightly translucent.
Now add all of your root vegetables and cook for 2-5 minutes. If the bottom layer of veggies seems to be burning, then add a cup of broth already.
Add your broth. Start with 4 cups, but use more if your veggies seem to be bulkier and need more broth. Or use more broth if you like your soup more on the liquid side. Cook covered for about 15 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.
Add your celery, tomatoes and spices cook until the vegetables are as soft as you’d like them, about another 10-15 minutes.
How to Serve
Let your pot of soup cool down for about 10 minutes, or serve the hot soup into bowls and let it cool there for 5 minutes. Just so you don’t burn your tongue! Top with green onions to add a bit of crunch. Optimal is to serve the soup with a few slices of fresh bread. Because soup is always better with bread! But it’s definitely not a must.
How to Store
This recipe makes for lots of leftovers, unless you have a big gathering to feed. Let your soup cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container. You can keep it this way in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can freeze this soup if you need to. Again, make sure it is completely cooled down, and store it in an airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. (The longer it stays in the freezer, the more likely it is to get freezer burn.) Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat just as you would your leftovers (in the microwave for about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave settings.)
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
I came up with this low sodium white lasagne when I needed to make something heartburn friendly. I used all CSA ingredients here, too, except for the lasagne noodles. The same is true for this veggie filled Butternut Squash Kale Lasagne. Both lasagnes will satisfy your pasta craving, but won’t get you crashing afterward thanks to all the vegetables!
What Is Chicory Lettuce?
Chicory lettuce is a type of leafy vegetable that is commonly used in salads. It is a member of the chicory family and is characterized by its bitter taste. The leaves are usually round or oval in shape and have a crunchy texture. Chicory lettuce can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in dishes like braises and stews, and of course, soup!
How do I join a CSA?
The first time I joined a CSA, it was through a friend’s recommendation. After we moved, I received a mailing of a closer farm share and partially switched to that one. But what if you don’t have either of those things come to you? Check out localharvest.org, type in your zip code and see what options come up! If this still isn’t giving you the results you need, then google your local farmers market, go to it and ask the different farms present if they have a CSA that can be picked up around your area. They might deliver to your local bakery or other such shop for you to pick up your box from there!
Can my kid help me cook this?
As always, it depends on how old your child is for whether or not or how much they can help you cook this recipe. At the time of publishing this, my older daughter only just turned 2. While she helps me a lot in the kitchen, this recipe is a little too difficult for her. The root vegetables are too hard for her to cut and stirring a hot soup doesn’t seem very safe. However, I was surprised and super pleased to see that she actually ate the veggies from this soup!! I definitely wasn’t expecting that. If your child is old enough to use a sharper knife, then start them off by cutting the chicory for you.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried this recipe!
- Olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 3-4 smaller heads of chicories
- 2 turnips
- 1 radish (I used watermelon radish)
- 1 cereriac
- 3 celery sticks
- 2 tomatoes (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
- 4-6 cups broth (I use home made that isn't salted)
- 1 tsp salt (or less if using salted broth)
- black pepper (15 turns on the grinder)
- 1/5 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp curry seasoning
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1 green onion for optional topping
- Mince the garlic, wash and cut all your vegetables into bite sizes.
- In a large soup pot, warm some olive oil (about 2 tbsp) and sautee the onions and garlic until slightly browned.
- Add the cut chicory and cook covered with a lid for about 2 minutes and then without a lid for about 5 minutes until it becomes slightly translucent.
- Now add all of your root vegetables and cook for 2-5 minutes. If the bottom layer of veggies seems to be burning, then add a cup of broth already.
- Add your broth. Start with 4 cups, but use more if your veggies seem to be bulkier and need more broth. Or use more broth if you like your soup more on the liquid side. Cook covered for about 15 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.
- Add your celery, tomatoes and spices cook until the vegetables are as soft as you'd like themabout another 10-15 minutes.
- Serve in a bowl and top with choped green onion if you wish to add a bit of crunch to the soup.
The quantities and even ingredients to this soup are very flexible. That's the beauty of it! Don't have turnips? Use carrots instead. Don't have watermelon radish? Use a different kind! I've also done this with different types cabbage instead of chicory. The above mix this recipe calls for is the mix of vegetables that I prefer the most, but it is also delicious when using a different combination.
As for the broth and salt: I use homemade broth and I don't salt that. So, the amount of salt that I add to my soup might be a little higher than what you need if you are using already salted broth. If this is the case, just start with 1/2 tsp salt and then do a taste check.
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