Friday, November 14, 2014

Harvest Vegetable Soup

It's autumn. The harvest is in. The fires are lit. The chill in the air invites simmering soups and stews in the kitchen. This nourishing, harvest vegetable soup recipe uses some common fall vegetables and some that you might not use that often like celeriac and rutabagas. I've created a detailed photo below to help you identify some of these vegetables when shopping. I've used both beef stew meat and cooked beans in this recipe so use whatever works best for your body!

This recipe makes a large batch of soup. You will need a large pot that is at least 9-quarts in size. You can of course easily cut this recipe in half for a smaller batch. I made this recipe on Halloween and cooked it in a 10-quart cast iron dutch oven set over an outdoor fire. Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that we stopped the trick-or-treating tradition last year and instead now gather a number of families at a friend's house in the woods on Halloween evening. We each set up a station in the woods (guided by torches and jack-o-lanterns) where small groups of children walk to each station, hear a story pertinent to this season from a parent dressed up, and then receive a healthy treat. I was a Harvest Witch this year and let each child add something to the pot, stirring it 3 times, while they heard a verse. Then we all sat around the fire on Halloween night and enjoyed this stew together. Everyone loved it and I think you will too.

Harvest Vegetable Soup

I use locally grown beans that have been soaked for at least 24 hours and then simmered on the stove. In this particular batch of soup I used a blend of Redhawk Kidney beans and Maya Coba beans, but please use whatever type of beans you have on hand. Red beans or cannellini beans work quite well. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand then use a few teaspoons of dried poultry seasoning instead. Soup recipes are very forgiving, so if you do not have all of these ingredients on hand just use what you do have. 

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
3 medium red potatoes, chopped
3 small rutabagas, peeled and chopped
2 medium celeriac, peeled and chopped
2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
8 cups water or homemade beef stock
4 to 5 cups crushed tomatoes
4 to 5 cups cooked beans
½ head cabbage, sliced
1 small bunch kale, chopped

1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot (at least 9-quarts in size). Add the olive oil. Then add the onions and leeks. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the carrots, potatoes, rutabagas, celeriac, parsnips, water or stock, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

Then add the cooked beans, kale, cabbage, fresh herbs, black pepper, and salt. Simmer for about 15 more minutes. Taste and adjust salt and seasoning if desired. Serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week and reheat as needed.

Note: If you are using beef instead of beans, use 2 pounds of organic, grass-fed stew meat and add it just after sautéing the onions and leeks.

I also wanted to mention a new movie (that Tom happens to be in) called Origins. Right now there is a Free online screening until November 22nd 2014. I urge you all to watch this incredible film. Learn who’s hijacking your health. Today we don’t move enough, we don’t know how to take care of ourselves, and we’ve become disconnected from what makes us thrive as the super-animals we once were. We’re getting sicker, weaker and more infertile.We’re spending billions on health care to stay healthy, and it’s not working. Find out why. And what you can do. Learn more in this beautiful film this week!

More Autumn Recipes:
Creamy Cranberry Salad Dressing
Yam Casserole with Pecan Streusel Topping
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Cranberries

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. There's nothing better than a bowl of hearty vegetable soup! This looks delicious!

  2. This recipe looks delicious. I will make it this weekend.

  3. Your new Halloween tradition sounds much more nourishing than trick-or-treating. The holidays are about bringing people together, and what better than by serving up nutritious treats and turning the night into an educational experience through story :) It all sounds amazing.
    Thank you for sharing this delicious and homey harvest soup recipe. I love making big batches of soup as they always freeze really well to be able to enjoy over and over for lazy weeknight meals :)


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