Exactly one week ago I was impatiently waiting to catch the plane that would have taken me back to my little family (always tough to leave a nice family, especially when it includes a lovely 2-year old child). Having to travel alone for work on a weekend really was not helping the moral. On top of it I had the beginning of a cold coming over me and I was actually feeling pretty cold in the impersonal, although high-tech, airport hall. But there was something that cheered me up. And, as usual, it had to do with food.
They had a small stand by the gates selling take-away soups. I opted for “white soup”, which I drank out of a plastic container. Well… that soup was amazing.
I spent the last half hour before boarding deeply absorbed in soup-related thoughts. Happy again. What I was trying to figure out were obviously the ingredients of the white soup, in order to replicate it at home. I could clearly savor parsnip and ginger. The creaminess seemed due more to the addition of potatoes and legumes (most likely white beans) than cream. I could not taste any garlic but there was probably onion. The only colored ingredient was obviously some dried thyme floating in the off white velvety liquid.
A couple of days ago I made the soup and it truly tasted like the real thing. It was even better today, re-heated with some freshly baked bread. Yum! Just love Sundays at home.
WHITE VEGGIE SOUP
You need: 5-6 parsnips, 3 potatoes, 1 can of white beans (drained), 1 yellow onion, one small fresh ginger, dried thyme, freshly ground white pepper, 1/2 cup vegetable (or chicken) stock, marine salt, olive oil.
How to: chop the fresh vegetables and grate the ginger. Place in a large pot (possibly with a thick bottom) and cover with water and chicken stock. Add a good sprinkle of thyme and white pepper (and a little salt). Boil, covered, until the vegetables are tender. Add the beans. Mix the soup to a smooth cream. Regulate salt and drizzle the soup with olive oil directly in the serving bowls.
CONSIDERATIONS: Soups and winter are synonyms to me. A warm, hearty, soup can turn the coldest and greyest winter day into something special. And homey. A bowl of warm soup and a slice of good bread. This is happiness to me.
PS: if you are wondering about that loaf in the background… that is my usual Sunday loaf. You find the method to make it yourself in my previous posts The Perfect Italian Sourdough Loaf and 50% Hydration Lazio Style Country Sourdough.