Oh, did we eat badly this weekend, ok maybe not badly but big...lunch at Blackbird, cocktails at The Bank, tasting dinner at Porter & Frye, breakfast at The Bank, popcorn at the movies for lunch, dinner at The Local & finally breakfast at Hell's Kitchen. Believe me we weren't ordering salads! When we got back home Monday night I said dinner had to be light & with lots of vegetables.
The tomato paste & beet add a beautiful color as well as flavor to this soup. We had saved some gruyere rinds & decided to throw them in this soup like people do with parmesan rinds in minestrone. I think they gave off a subtle flavor but added richness. If you don't have any cheese rinds you can just leave them out.
Winter Vegetable Soup
1 T olive oil
1/2 large onion, peeled & chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled & sliced
1 potato, peeled & diced, about 1/2-inch cubes
1 large parsnip, peeled & sliced
1 large beet, peeled & diced, about 1/2-inch cubes
1 T tomato paste
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried oregano
1/4 t dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
3 c chicken or vegetable stock
rind from a piece of gruyere (optional)
2 c kale, roughly chopped or torn
1/2 c orzo
In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions & garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, potato, parsnip, & beets. Stir for a minute or two. Add the tomato paste, thyme, oregano, marjoram & bay leaf & stir. Stir in the stock then season with salt & pepper. Throw in the cheese rind if using. Bring to a boil. Cover & reduce heat to low & let simmer 30 minutes.
Remove cheese rind. Stir in kale & orzo. Cook for 9 more minutes or until orzo is tender. Remove bay leaf.