Nordic Winter Vegetable Soup


Trina Hahnemann calls the root vegetables in this simple vegetarian soup the "gold of Nordic soil" because they're high in nutrients and grow well in cold climates. More Vegetable Soups

Nordic Winter Vegetable Soup. Photo © Tina Rupp
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hr


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup pearled barley

  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 4 cups water

  • 10 thyme sprigs

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 1/2 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 pound baby spinach

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the barley. Add the vegetable broth, water, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add the celery root and parsnips and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over moderately low heat until the barley and root vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.

  2. Stir in the spinach and nutmeg and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve in deep bowls.


One serving 257 cal, 44 gm carb, 6 gm fat, 1.4 gm sat fat, 9 gm protein, 10 gm fiber.

Serve With

Hearty whole-grain rye bread.

Suggested Pairing

Green-apple-scented, balanced Chardonnay.

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