The leaves are beginning to turn and we’ve had enough touches of cooler weather here in the Northeast that I’ve started thinking soup. I got into soup in a serious way last winter. Our middle child, G, was living with us at the time and was on a health kick that included lots of fresh fruits and veggies. So he was really interested in soup, too, particularly to pack for lunch at his job.
It was just the excuse I needed to expand my soup repertoire, which before this had mostly been potato leek soup (mighty good I might add) and the obvious vegetable. Then I discovered roasted vegetables and our soup lives changed.
I roasted cauliflower, I roasted broccoli, I roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots. I roasted just about anything I could get my hands on, added some broth and spices and every single time had a lovely, slurpable soup.
If you’ve ever been a little reluctant about experimenting with food, ie stepping outside the recipe box and adding a dash of this or a spot of that, soup is a great way to start. I don’t know what it is about roasting that makes everything taste better, but it just does. So grab your favorite vegetables and get going. I hear it’s going to be cooler and rainy this weekend…just right for some soup.
3 leeks, cleaned and sliced in half and in two-inch pieces
3 red peppers, seeded and cored, cut into slices
1 cauliflower, cut into roastable pieces
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
chili powder to taste
3-4 cups (or so) of chicken or vegetable broth
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up the veggies, place them in a roasting pan. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper and chili powder and toss until the vegetables are well coated.
Bake for 20 minutes. Then toss and bake another 20 minutes until the vegetables are well roasted. Let them cool a bit.
Place some of the vegetables in a blender with some of the broth. Puree to your desired consistency. Do this until all the vegetables are pureed. Then add as much broth as you want to create soup of the consistency you like. Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary.
Janet here: I believe I have discovered the secret to great soup: roast your vegetables first. Seriously, I may never make soup without doing this again. While I’m sure this butternut squash soup would have been lovely without roasting the squash and red onions first, roasting them brought out the flavor so much more fully.
I also love how carefree roasting is. Just cut whatever veggies you’re roasting, add a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and toss. Throw it in a 425-degree oven and forget about it for 30 minutes or so. Can it get any easier?
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Try this and you won’t be disappointed. Add a little bread and a salad and you are good to go. Enjoy!
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium red onion, cut into large pieces, maybe 1/8ths
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 or so cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon or so curry powder
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the onion, squash and olive oil in a large rectangular pan. Add salt and pepper; toss well until the veggies are well oiled. Put in oven. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the veggies are just tender and lightly browned.
Add the veggie mix to a blender in batches along with some of the stock each time. Puree and then place into a large pot. Do this until it’s all pureed. Then add stock as needed, depending on how thin you like your soup. I like mine fairly thick but so it goes. Add the curry powder to taste and warm the soup. That’s it!