I’ve been attempting a “no wheat, no dairy” diet for several weeks now. (Why? long story for another time.) This means lots of rice, quinoa, salads, and soups. Here’s one of my recent creations. I know “technically” it is now spring and we should be done with winter root vegetables, but up here in Minnesota it still looks and feels alot like winter . . .
Roasted Winter Root Vegetable Soup
Roasting some of the vegetables before making them into soup really brings out their sweetness. Use your imagination with this recipe: substitute other root or winter veggies (yellow beets, butternut squash, white potatoes, leeks, etc), roast more or fewer of them (or none at all), and/or swap in other spices (curry powder goes great with this type of soup).
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4″-1″ pieces
1 medium turnip, peeled and diced into 3/4″-1″ pieces
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced into 3/4″-1″ pieces
2-4 Tbls. olive oil, divided
1 large onion (or 2 small), very thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, diced
5 medium carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp. thyme (or 1 fresh sprig)
1 Tbls. minced parsley (or 1 fresh sprig or 1/2 Tbls. dry)
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper, or to taste
6-8 cups vegetable stock or water (or a combination)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
While oven is heating, cut up sweet potato, turnip, and parsnip. Spread sweet potato, turnip, and parsnip pieces out on a baking pan. Coat with 2-3 Tbls. oil. Place in oven to roast while you prepare the rest of the veggies (40-60 minutes).
Heat 1 Tbls. oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot. Add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add the celery. Cook, stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Don’t let anything brown/burn.
Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and add to the pot. Stir to combine everything. Add bay leaf, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Pour in stock/water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer one hour or until everything is nicely cooked and soft enough to blend.
Turn off the heat.
REMOVE bay leaf (and thyme sprig if used).
Blend the soup until smooth with an immersion blender. Taste to adjust seasonings.
Serve and Enjoy!
Yield: approx. 2 quarts.
- More obsessive chefs than I would tell you to leave the seasonings (garlic, ginger, bay leaf, thyme, parsley) whole, wrap them in cheesecloth, tie to make a “bouquet garni”, and add to the pot. This process does make it easier to remove them before blending, but I can’t be bothered. Just make sure you use a big enough bay leaf to be easily found and removed before blending.
- There are other ways to purée soup if you don’t have an immersion blender, but why not just buy one? For smoothies and puréeing cooked veggies the cheap ($9.99) versions work just fine (though apparently you can spend up to $40 bucks on the super-duper motor-a-boat versions). If you MUST purée your soup in a food processor or blender, just be careful, let the soup cool a bit before blending (or things might explode), and do only a little at a time.
- Even more obsessive cooks would tell you that after puréeing, you should put the soup through a sieve to remove any possible remaining celery strings, or small chunks of vegetable. As you may have guessed, (1) I can’t be bothered with that and (2) I consider those strings and bits to give the soup added character. But if you are serving your soup to the Queen or something . . .
Copyright © 2011, Lucinda DeWitt
[Updated on March 23, 2011 to include the bit about sieving and add correct punctuation to the word purée.]