When the husband and I visit my parents in Kansas City, we always eat at Bluestem restaurant. This year, I ordered a parsnip soup that was served over fresh greens, pomegranate seeds and walnuts. It was creamy yet crunchy; rich but still fresh. If I’d been home, I would have licked the bowl.

Last night’s dinner was an homage to that soup: Crunchy chard, peppers and radishes barely softened with a garlic- and ginger-flecked broth. It was hot, crunchy and oh-so-healthy. A different, heartier take on “soup and salad.”

And, yes. Since I was home, I definitely licked the bowl.

Salad Soup

This is really a “recipe-less” recipe. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Add meat if you’d like. Make your favorite broth or use store-bought. (I won’t tell.) Just be sure the liquid is steaming hot and the veggies are in bite-size pieces.

soup salad

Chop a variety of vegetables and meats and place them on a large platter. I used Swiss chard, cremini mushrooms, radishes, yellow peppers and roasted turkey.

Glaze a large pot with grapeseed oil. Saute 3/4 cup diced onion, 1 cup diced fennel and 1 diced carrot until tender. Add 3 minced cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger. Stir for a minute or so to release the aromatics’ oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth and 4-5 cups of broth (I used turkey broth). Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the carrot and fennel are tender. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon or lime.

Place whatever vegetables and meats you want into a large soup bowl. Ladle the broth over. Sip and crunch away!

soup salad dish