A couple of years ago I discovered (as in stumbled upon, not like the kind that comes from insightful inquiry) the art of making soup from roasted vegetables. It’s fun and so good. You can follow a recipe or just wing it. Have fun experimenting.
The recipe that follows was the result of a vision I had (not like the prophesorial kind, more like the I’m starving! What can I make with what I can make with what’s in the fridge” kind). There on my counter was an aging acorn squash my wife and I bought to make…something with. In the fridge was a bag of carrots and another aging (but not rotten) green pepper and a head of cauliflower. OK. What to make…SOUP!
You may be asking, “How the heck are you going to make soup from those vegetables.” It’s so easy and unbelievably tasty. The key is to peel and cut your vegetables into large chunks, toss them in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and then roast them in the oven on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan. Again, you’re probably thinking, “OK, that went from boring to gross!”. Not so fast. The roasting of the vegetables brings out a flavor that you just don’t get when steaming or boiling them. And you have to roast them til the edges get a little blackened. I know. That doesn’t sound very good. Trust me…
Once the veggies are roasted, you put them in a blender or food processor. They make really expensive food blenders like Vitamix, or (as my cousin Yvonne showed me) you can buy a relatively inexpensive one made by a company called Ninja. I bought mine from Amazon for about $160 with a 5 year warranty! That’s a lot cheaper than other brands that start at around $399. Back from our commercial break. If you don’t have a food blender, you can use a regular blender. Just be careful that there is enough liquid in it so you don’t burn it out.
With the veggies in the blender, you add a couple of cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer). Turn on the blender until the veggies are pureed. Pour into a pot to reheat. Add some spices. You can add cubed potatoes to give it some substance and texture, and cook until the potatoes are soft and serve. That’s it!
- 1/8tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8tsp cayenne pepper (optional – to taste)
- 1/4tsp Thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes (optional)
- 1-2 large carrots peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
- 1 head of cauliflower cleaned and cut into large florets
- 1 Acorn squash cleaned, peeled, and cut into 1-1/2″ chunks
- 1 onion peeled quartered
- 3 cloves of garlic left in the skin
- 2 cups chicken broth (optionally, try beef or vegetable)
- 2 cups of water
- With the veggies in the blender, you add a couple of cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer). Turn on the blender until the veggies are pureed. Pour into a pot to reheat. Add some spices. You can add cubed potatoes to give it some substance and texture, and cook until the potatoes are soft and serve. That’s it!
- Heat oven to 400F.
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper (or lightly oil the surface to prevent sticking) and evenly spread the cut vegetables (except potatoes) on top.
- Lightly salt and pepper the veggies (optional and to taste).
- Place cookie sheet in the oven top rack and cook for 30 minutes or until tender and edges lightly browned. Add more time in 5 minute increments until done. Remove from the oven and let sit a few minutes to cool a tad.
- Add the veggies to your food blender or food processor. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and blend on high until everything is completely pureéd.
- Pour out contents of blender into a 6 quart pot placed on medium heat.
- Add 2 cups of water, potatoes (optional) and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring pot to simmer (low boil) and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally and ensuring you maintain a low, slow simmer.
- Serve in soup bowls with oven warmed bread or crackers for dipping into the soup.