Harvest Soup

This is a hearty winter soup made from root vegetables.  It is sweet and warming.  The original recipe came from Barbara Vadnais and has been modified somewhat by Pat Palmer.

This is a soup that appears creamy because it has been pureed, but it contains no milk products.  In macrobiotics, we like to eat a creamy-seeming soup once or twice a week (and clear-broth soups on the other days—the rule of thumb is, one serving of soup per day per person).

IMPORTANT! Always use great caution when puréeing hot liquids. If you have time, allow the soup to cool before blending. Never fill the container more than half full. Cover the lid with a folded kitchen towel and hold it in place before you turn on the blender. The initial surge of the blender's contents can cause the lid to pop open, possibly scalding you if it's still hot, and certainly making a mess of your kitchen.  

Source: Barbara Vadnais


2 cups
butternut squash (organic; peeled, cored, chunked)
carrots (organic; large ones, chunked)
burdock root (organic, fresh; sliced thinly on a diagonal)
1 cup
brown rice (pre-cooked; leftover is fine)
onions (medium size; sliced for sauteing)
bay leaf (dried)
3 tablespoons
safflower oil (for sauteing onions and spices)
1 teaspoon
sea salt
1 teaspoon
cumin powder
1⁄4 teaspoon
dried ginger powder
1⁄4 teaspoon
dried thyme (or one sprig fresh thyme, chopped)
5 cups
filtered water

Additional Notes

Above is the soup while it is cooking.

You can substitute barley or another pre-cooked hearty grain, but no more than one cup's worth—but do not use barley if you are sensitive to gluten.


  1. Slice the onions
  2. Place oil in bottom of soup pot and saute onions (add a pinch of salt halfway through the sauteing process).  It is okay to carmelize the onions if you prefer. I like to add the powdered spices (ginger and cumin) to the hot saute oil right before adding the onions.
  3. Add the burdock root and chunked carrots to the onion saute, along with just enough water to keep things from burning. Continue sauteing until burdock and carrots are coated with oil and hot.
  4. Add chunked squash, rice, remaining salt, and water—enough water to cover all the vegetables and be able to stir the pot. I usually need about 5 cups of water.
  5. Bring all to a low boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2+ hrs, stirring well every half hour.
  6. Optionally, add a couple of teaspoons of barley miso (dissolved in 2 tablespoons of cold water) near the end; if you do, make sure the soup is below the boiling point after the miso is added (not hot enough to kill the beneficial organisms in the miso).
  7. After vegetables are all tender, turn off soup and let it cool.  Use an immersion blender (or move to a stand-up blender) to puree.  (Recipe♦474)