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Roasted Winter Vegetables Soup

October 10, 2010

I’m very excited to be sharing this recipe with you all.

Because like many of you… I am of the belief that

FALL = SOUP

Can I get an amen?

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And THIS is no ordinary soup.

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If you are familiar with my friend, The Barefoot Contessa (known around our house by her first name, Barefoot) then you know this is no ordinary soup.

This soup is of the finest quality ingredients, executed with the utmost care, simple, and spectacular.  Really top notch in flavor and texture… full of vitamins… and SO perfect for the chillier weather we’re having.

“What ARE winter vegetables?”  (You might ask.)

Well, I’m no expert, but typically the vegetables in this category are the hardier types.  Root vegetables that grow underground safe from the elements… thick-skinned squash and gourd varieties… pumpkins… you get the idea.  And one thing they all have in common is LOTS of starchy goodness.

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So let’s have a look at what we’re dealing with here.

This is a one-pound butternut squash.  Yes, this is food… despite its more common use as doorstep decor.

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And here’s the rest of our line-up.

Carrots, Sweet Potato, Parsnips, Parsley, Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.

(No onions or garlic to be found!! Are you appalled?  But please, trust Barefoot.)

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And one more thing before we start…  You CAN make these roasted winter vegetables to serve as a side dish.  If you plan to make them into the scrumptious soup I’m about to show you, you’ll need one more ingredient.

Chicken Stock.  (Home-made is better, but a high-quality stock from the store will do just fine.)

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Now then, start by peeling up those ghostly parsnips and those carrots.

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Then chop them into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Try to keep them roughly the same size, and don’t get them too small.  They’ll shrink in the oven.

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Before you get too far in the chopping process, preheat your oven to HOT HOT HOT.

Barefoot says 425 but I prefer 450.

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Now grab the squash and sweet potato and peel them up as well!

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Use a spoon to scoop out the strings and seeds from the squash.

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And give these guys a rough chop as well, sticking to the general size guidelines you used for the carrots and parsnips.

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Now…

Right away I can tell I have WAAAAY more than my one measly sheet pan can handle.  For these vegetables to roast properly, they can’t be crowded together.

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This looks much better…

They should be spread into one layer with ample room to brown up nicely.  If they’re too close, they’ll almost boil in their own juices… and they’ll be very mushy and unattractive.

It’s also a good idea to make sure the sheet pan you’re using has a lip around the edge.  Learned that one from experience.  My oven floor is a travesty.

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Now, drizzle the vegetables generously with olive oil.

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Then give them a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.

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And toss everything around to make sure its coated.

I like to use my hands for this so I can tell every surface is oiled and seasoned.

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Stick the veggies in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes.  They take about 35 minutes total… but more about that later.

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You might end up like I did, with a little handfull of lonely vegetables that just couldn’t fit.

RESIST the urge to crowd that pan.  You’ll regret it, I tell ya!  And besides, you can just eat these later yourself… like I did.

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You’ve got a little time.  So why not tidy up your kitchen and chop some parsley?

Two tablespoons of this stuff should do the trick!

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Aren’t these peelings pretty?  They’re perfect for my compost pile (even though my compost pile is somewhat pathetic.  I think squirrels are eating it all.)

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When the 25 minutes are up…

Take the vegetables out and turn them once with a sturdy spatula.

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Then put them back into the hot oven for another 10-15 minutes.  But go ahead and switch the bottom pan to the top rack, and the top to the bottom.  Give them a chance to brown more evenly.

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When those fifteen minutes are up (and your kitchen smells all roasty-toasty) it’s time to pull them out and sprinkle on the fresh chopped parsley.

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At this point, they are certainly delicious (and gorgeous) enough to serve as-is.  Just plate them up and serve them alongside the main dish of your choice.

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But that’s not what I had in mind for my Sunday menu…

I’m going to continue this process and make Roasted Winter Vegetables Soup to serve in Sourdough Bread bowls.  I’ll finish each bowl with fresh parmesan cheese and a drizzle of good olive oil.

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For the soup, you’ll need:

– 1 recipe roasted winter vegetables

And…

-6-8 Cups of Chicken Stock.  (Preferably Homemade Chicken Stock… recipe here!  But a quality store-bought stock will do just fine.)

This is my homemade chicken stock…

I just so happened to have the ingredients on hand.  Sometimes I don’t have them and I use store-bought!  No one will be any the wiser!

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Now then… select something fabulous to serve with this soup.  Barefoot likes to do homemade brioche croutons.

But me?  I like to go to Panera and buy

BREAD BOWLS!

YUM!

Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum.

That is how I feel about sourdough bread bowls from Panera.  YUM.

And they are a perfect compliment to this soup because it has a slightly sweet flavor from the sweet potatoes and carrots.  The combo (with a dusting of parmesan) is Dy-No-Mite!

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Bring the cooked vegetables up to a boil in the broth.

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Then get ready to fire up your blender!

Can I interject something here?

When I explained how to make Roasted Tomato Soup here on Pretty/Hungry… I thought I was pretty clear about how potentially catastrophic this blending step can be if not done correctly.

I believe I used words like “scald” and “Setting #2” and “instant death.”

And yet I’ve received more feedback about Roasted Tomato Soup attempts gone terribly wrong than almost anything else.

So let me just say this again.  In order to carry out this step… you (first of all) must own a blender.  Trying to substitute any other device could result in a scalding mess.  Secondly, in order to carry out this step, you must fill said blender no more than 1/3 full at a time.  This might mean you blend the soup in three or more batches.  And that is ok.  Thirdly, try to balance the level of solids and liquids in the blender.  Too much solid will stop clog the blade, and too much liquid… will result in a scalding mess.

Ahhh.  I’m glad we had this talk.

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This is a good amount of veggies for one round of blending.  Add about a ladle-full of liquid to these vegetables and give them a good whir.  They should look pureed but not watery.

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Then just keep at it til you’ve fished out the last of the lumps and blended them up!  You’ll have yourself a smooth, silky, puree of winter vegetables.  And if you want the soup thicker… just boil it a bit longer and allow it to reduce.

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Definitely give it a final taste before serving.  The only salt and pepper here is the stuff we added when we roasted the vegetables (and my broth was low-sodium) so you’ll want to make those final adjustments!

Serve the soup with fresh grated parmesan, a drizzle of good olive oil, and some fantastic bread.  (Sourdough pictured.)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2010 1:37 pm

    I love roasted veggies. I’m responsible for dinner at our Wed. night get together this week and this might just be the dish. I got an education in winter veggies last year and was so excited when they started showing up at the grocery and the market!

    • October 12, 2010 5:12 pm

      Well, its a labor of love… but worth it! Have fun cooking for your group on Wednesday, I know it’ll be delicious whatever you make 🙂

  2. Brenda Haustein permalink
    October 13, 2010 3:39 pm

    DE—–LISH!!!!! I must say….. that was ME you were talking about with the Tomato-Soup-Gone-Bad situation wasnt it? 🙂 I learned my lesson very well. And it hasnt ruined me… I will still continue to make whatever you make!!! Love you dear! Thank you for dinner!

    • October 13, 2010 5:09 pm

      Well, you are in that group yes… but I’ve heard it from others. 🙂 SO glad you girls came! It was so good to see you.

Trackbacks

  1. Rich & Comforting Potato Soup « Pretty / Hungry
  2. Potato, Sausage & Kale Soup (And it’s super healthy too!) « Pretty / Hungry

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