Root-Vegetable Soup with Orange, Ginger, and Tarragon
A cup of fresh orange juice is what unifies the flavors in a soup made from pureed boiled root vegetables. It's garnished with both navel and red-fleshed Cara Cara oranges.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 1/4 cups)
- 1/2 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 small celery root, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth
- 2 oranges, such as navel and Cara Cara
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated peeled ginger
- 1/2 cup water, plus more if needed
- Fresh tarragon leaves, for garnish
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until onion is softened, about 6 minutes (do not let brown). Add parsnip, rutabaga, celery root, thyme, and broth. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Discard thyme. Puree soup in batches in a blender until smooth (fill blender only halfway), and transfer to a clean pot.
Finely grate enough peel of 1 orange to yield 1/2 teaspoon zest. Working over a bowl, cut segments of orange free of membranes, and set aside. Squeeze juice from membranes into a bowl, then squeeze enough juice from remaining orange to yield 1 cup total. Just before serving, reheat to warm. Stir in orange zest, juice, ginger, and water, plus more to thin to desired consistency. Season with salt, and garnish with orange segments, tarragon, and pepper.