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Delicious Hearty Soup for Cold Winter Days

January 21, 2019

This time of year, I love to make and eat hearty soups that are hearty, healthy, and that appeal to both grown-up and kid palates. Like many soups, this one will also reheat well (I usually reheat on the stove whenever possible and avoid the microwave since the microwave destroys many nutrients in our food).

Introduction to Celeriac

Celeriac? Yes – the root of the celery plant. It’s not hard to find once you know what to look for. I’ve included a picture for those who have never seen or used celeriac. Once cooked, it has a texture somewhat like a white potato and a mild yet slightly bitter taste that will take on the flavor of what it’s cooked in. Simply peel, cube, and throw into this soup.

Customizing Your Soup

Adjustments can be made for spice level (add more cayenne) and how well done you like your vegetables (cook for a shorter time and/or cut your vegetables thinner or thicker).

The Impact of Fresh Ingredients

I made this soup with dried basil for the first time a few months ago, and it was somewhat unmemorable. I’ll never do that again. This time, the fresh basil made a world of difference.

Recipe Overview

So whether you’re cooking for one person or 10, this recipe will surely be well-received across the board and yield delicious leftovers if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped coarsely
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cups carrots, sliced to a medium thickness
  • 2 cups celeriac (aka celery root) and/or parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 8 cups chicken bone broth or chicken broth (I used Better Than Bouillon Organic broth concentrate)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 TBSP white vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Italian Seasoning (I use Frontier brand from Fresh Thyme)
  • 1 TBSP dried parsley
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicier)
  • 1 ½ TBSP Himalayan sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 TBSP avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash/zucchini, cubed in about ¾” cubes
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish.

Preparation Steps

  1. Brown the Meat: Brown the meat in a large skillet or stock pot over medium-high heat until almost cooked through. Transfer to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon (leave fat in the pan).
  2. Sauté Vegetables: Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, celeriac/parsnips to the pan and sauté until vegetables are slightly tender. Add vegetables to slow cooker. Deglaze this pan with 1 cup of broth before adding it to the slow cooker. Set aside this pan (you’ll use it for the squash/zucchini)
  3. Combine Ingredients: Add remaining ingredients (except squash/zucchini and fresh basil) to the slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.
  4. Final Touches: Add the avocado oil to the pan used to brown the meat and sauté the vegetables earlier. Sauté/brown the squash/zucchini. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add chopped basil and continue cooking for 10-30 minutes.

Season to Taste

Adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve with a garnish of fresh basil.

Conclusion and Invitation for Feedback

I’d love to hear from you if you like this hearty soup. Our family has certainly enjoyed this, and I hope yours will, too.

Inspiration for this recipe is from Danielle Walker’s cookbook, which I cook out of all the time and definitely recommend buying, titled Against All Grains: Meals Made Simple.

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