alive logo

Golden Root Soup

Serves 6 to 8


    Golden Root Soup

    Root soups are hearty and healthy go-tos during the colder months. A couple of often overlooked roots, rutabagas and turnips are sometimes thought to be bitter. One quick way to take the bitterness out of these roots is to add a bit of sweetness. In this recipe, we’ve upped the ante with sweet potatoes and carrots to create a delicious soup with an abundance of healthy ingredients—plus plenty of flavour for everyone.  


    DIY Chinese five-spice powder

    Although readily available in most grocery stores, you can easily make your own. In small, heavy skillet, combine 6 star anise pods, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fennel seeds, 2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) black peppercorns, and 3/4 tsp (4 mL) whole cloves. Toast over medium heat just until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to mini blender. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon. Whirl until mixture is finely ground. It can be stored in an airtight small jar; use as needed. It’s equally delicious on roast chicken or pork. 


    Golden Root Soup


      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil
      • 1 large leek, washed and sliced, light part only
      • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
      • 1 small rutabaga or 2 turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
      • 2 large carrots, scraped and chopped, about 1 1/2 cups (350 mL)
      • 1 sweet potato or jewel yam, peeled and chopped, about 1 cup (250 mL)
      • 4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable stock
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Chinese five-spice powder
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) coconut or brown sugar
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) kosher salt
      • 1 cup (250 mL) full-fat coconut milk, plus extra if needed


      Per serving:

      • calories109
      • protein1 g
      • total fat6 g
        • sat. fat2 g
      • total carbohydrates13 g
        • sugars5 g
        • fibre2 g
      • sodium95 mg



      In large soup pot over medium heat, add oil, leek, and onion. Sauté until soft. Stir in garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.


      Add all remaining ingredients—except for coconut milk. Add a splash more water if needed to make sure vegetables are just about covered with liquid. Bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are fork-tender, about 30 minutes.


      Using hand-held stick blender or transferring to high-speed blender, purée until creamy. Return to saucepan and stir in coconut milk. Heat through. Add a little more coconut milk or water if soup appears to be too thick. Season to taste with some added salt and pepper, if you wish. Serve in bowls and garnish as desired.



      SEE MORE »
      Poached Sablefish and Bok Choy with Lemongrass, Ginger, and Chili
      Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

      Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

      B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.