Glenda’s Root Soup

Glenda makes very good soup. Here is one of her, and my, favorites. She adapted the recipe from of Jane Brody’s Good Food Book (NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1983) 323. It makes the perfect lunch for a cold winter day.

Makes about 4 quarts


  • 2 small or 1 large turnip(s)
  • ½ large rutabaga
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 large or 3 small carrots
  • 2 med. yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup pearled barley (not the rolled kind)
  • 4 cups vegetable or other stock
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • 1½ tsp. dried dill weed
  • ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste


If your stock is frozen, as mine was (duck stock – yum! – but any stock would be fine), thaw it while working on the rest. 

Peel the turnip(s), rutabaga, onions, carrots and parsnips, cut into chunks that will fit the feeder tube of your food processor, and grate with the coarse grating blade. Put into a large heavy soup pot or glazed cast iron casserole with the stock and the barley. Chop the parsley and basil, mince the garlic, and add to the soup pot along with the dill weed, curry powder, and half the Tabasco sauce. Mix everything well with a spoon.

 Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring (and inhaling!) occasionally. Add water as needed. Everything should be tender when finished. Then stir in the salt, pepper, and the rest of the Tabasco (unless you want less bite – taste before seasoning).  If you like a heartier soup, you can puree a cup or so in the food processor and add it back to the pot.


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