In a restaurant kitchen, toward the end of service, when the bulk of the hustle and bustle has settled and the cleaning has begun, someone goes through the walk-in cooler: organizing, consolidating, putting ingredients back in their rightful home. What needs to be used up? What do we need more of?
I almost never do this in my home fridge. The other day, as I finally took a dive into the crisper drawer, I found one stray rutabaga, two parsnips, three lemon halves, and five sprigs of thyme. I bought all of those things because I was excited to use them, but they fell away, forgotten.
For me, the easiest way to eat more vegetables is to have an abundance on hand, but not let them languish in the fridge. If you have a few carrots and celery stalks, don’t give into the temptation to buy parsnips and rutabagas—use up what’s around first. This recipe will help.
I call for a variety of vegetables, but don’t make a special trip to the store if you’re missing one or two. Embrace substitutions. The combination of protein-rich chickpeas and starchy noodles give this hearty vegan soup body. Using miso or liquid aminos adds salt and depth of flavor—if you don’t have either on hand, salt the soup as you normally would or add a splash of soy sauce instead. This recipe is flexible and, like most soups, benefits from a rest overnight so the flavors can meld, though I am rarely that patient. —abraberens
Test Kitchen Notes
Every month, in Eat Your Vegetables, chef, Ruffage cookbook author, and former farmer Abra Berens shares a seasonal recipe that puts vegetables front and center (where they should be!). Missed an installment? Head here to catch up. —The Editors
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 40 minutes
- Serves 2 to 4
Extra-virgin olive oil
thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence)
yellow onion, sliced thinly
leek, sliced thinly and rinsed of dirt (or skip if you don’t have one)
garlic cloves, minced
white miso (or liquid aminos)
carrots, peeled (or scrubbed) and diced
medium parsnips, peeled and diced (or swap in sweet potato)
medium rutabaga, peeled and diced (or swap in turnips)
small celeriac head, peeled and diced (or 3 stalks celery, sliced thinly)
(or one 16-ounce can) cooked chickpeas
1 1/2 teaspoons
red pepper flakes
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
parsley, roughly chopped
pappardelle or fettuccini
- In a soup pot, heat a glug of olive oil over medium heat. Add the thyme (or herbs de Provence) and briefly fry, 10 to 15 seconds.
- Add the onion, leek, and garlic, plus a big pinch of salt, and reduce heat to medium-low. Sweat the mixture until soft, about 7 minutes.
- Add the white wine and reduce by half.
- Dissolve the miso into 8 cups of water. If it doesn’t blend completely, don’t worry, it will as the soup simmers—this just helps it along.
- Add the root vegetables, chickpeas, and miso water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, lightly toast the red pepper flakes over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and a pinch of salt. Add the warm red pepper to the mixture.
- When the vegetables are tender, taste and adjust the salt as desired. Add the pasta and simmer until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with a hefty spoonful of the parsley relish.