Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blizzard Food

Minnesota weather is notoriously unpredictable. People joke that, "you know you're Minnesotan if you turn on the air conditioning and the heat in the same day." I'm completely guilty of doing just that. But this weekend went from 50s and beautiful to an epic snowstorm. So tonight I thought I'd embrace the snowy weather and the warnings to stay inside by making my favorite go-to soup recipe. I have no idea where I first got this recipe, but I love it mostly because it's incredibly versatile and foolproof. Add your favorite veggies in any amount, herbs, meat if you're so inclined, and curl up with an episode of Friends. Yum.

2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 leek, light green & white parts, washed, halved and sliced thin*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot (or just small onion if you don't have shallots)
three big handfuls of frozen egg noodles
1 quart vegetable stock
salt & pepper
fresh basil, chopped
2 tbls olive oil

In a medium stock pot, heat up the olive oil and saute the garlic and shallots for two-three minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, and parsnips (and any other veggies you want) and saute until tender. Add in the leeks and saute for another minute. Add some salt and pepper at this point to flavor the vegetables. Add the frozen noodles, saute for a few minutes.
Pour the veggie stock over the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 10 minutes or until the noodles have thickened up. If the soup is losing too much water, add more stock.

Garnish with basil and serve! I usually get four big bowls out of this recipe. The soup freezes really well, so make a big batch.

* Food Tip: Leeks are very sandy, so after splitting and slicing, put the chopped leeks into a big bowl of water and swish it around. Let the leeks sit for a while in the water (I usually do this part first and then by the time the carrots are done sauteing the leeks are done soaking). The sand and grit will sink to the bottom of the bowl, and you can scoop up the leeks and put them right into the pan.


  1. There is nothing like soup on a Minnesota winter night. We add tarragon -- it provides a nice kick. Mostly I like tarragon because it's also known as dragon's wort. What a great name. Which makes me wonder, can a cool name make food taste better?

  2. Excellent tip! I don't use tarragon enough in my cooking. And yes -- I think a cool name can make food taste better. I have a feeling that when I finally cook a noodle kugel, it's going to taste amazing in part because I'm obsessed with the name :)