Vegan Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

From Grace Tran

Serves: A lot

It took a while for Grace to reheat her soup on Wednesday, but it was so worth the wait — I was expecting sweet potatoes and turnips, and instead got surprising, light and sprightly parsnips and celery root, mixed with earthy nutmeg. So good!


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup pearled barley
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cups water
10 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
½ pounds celery root, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound baby spinach
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 400 F.  Toss celery root and parsnip with olive oil.  Roast for 35-45 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

In a large pot, heat the oil. Add onion, leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the barley.  Add vegetable broth, water, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add celery root and parsnips and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer over moderately low heat until the barley and root vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes to an hour.

Stir in the spinach and nutmeg and simmer for 5-7 minutes.  Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve in deep bowls, along with hearty, whole-grain rye bread

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