Author: Jinny Sauer Bastianelli

With the overindulgence of the holidays behind us, we’re all ready for a refresh, and what could be better than a tasty soup made from hardy root vegetables that survived the recent deep freeze. Pair this soup with a salad or a sandwich, chop some winter greens and/or mushrooms to stir in, crumble some bacon or add some browned or sliced sausage, or just leave it as it is – hot, healthy, and hearty. Start the new year out right by getting back to your “roots”!

Root Vegetable Soup

recipe by Melissa Clark for New York Times Cooking


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion or 2 leeks (white and light green part only), chopped
  • 2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 rosemary or thyme branches
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3½ pounds mixed root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, celery root, turnip, rutabaga, sweet or regular potato), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • Juice of ½ lemon, more for serving
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • Grated Parmesan or pecorino, optional
  • Croutons, optional


  1. Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, rosemary and bay leaves; cook 1 minute more. Add root vegetables, 8 cups water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Remove and discard rosemary branches and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. (Alternatively, you can purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.) If the soup is too thick, add a little water. Season with lemon juice and more salt to taste.
  3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, flaky salt and crushed red pepper flakes or grated cheese, if desired. Makes 6-8 servings.


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