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"Temple" Root Vegetable Soup

Looks so boring, tasted so good...

Yesterday we had our first major snow which made the whole world mono-chromatically beautiful and strangely silent; a complete absence of sound that was -- at first -- worrisome and then strangely soothing. Some of the snow melted in the night and then a chill set in, so today has been about icy walkways, icicles hanging from the gutters and windows and proper cold.

The cats are thrilled because, for probably the first time ever, I moved the thermostat from 68F to 72F (woohoo...) and they are both taking naps in front of separate heating units as I write this. Rather than lying next to a radiator to indicate my feelings about the cold, my mind turned to what I could eat that would fit in with the weather - bearing in mind that I am on day six of a week without ordering groceries in order to empty my fridge through fridge and freezer forage before filling the fridge anew for the arrival of guests.

This dish fit the day and the mood perfectly: restorative, calming and nourishing. I used dashi because I wanted to be reminded of Japanese temple food, but you could use chicken or vegetable stock instead. The lovely thing about this soup is that despite its simplicity it is not boring -- the broth is delicious and you can taste the distinct flavor of each and every vegetable.

2 cups of root vegetables, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (I used carrot, parsnip, turnip, sweet potato and yellow onion and tried to cut the vegetables into different shapes to add some visual contrast to the soup as well as to allow them to cook at the same rate even though some cook faster than others)

1 1/2 cups stock of your choice

2 tsps soy sauce

2 tsps Sake or Vermouth

Place the vegetables in a small saucepan and add the liquid.

Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for eight minutes. That should ensure that each vegetable is cooked through. If not, cook for an additional couple of minutes since my timing is based on the size of my vegetables and yours may vary.


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