Fridge-Clearing Soup

This one is so quick and easy, there’s no recipe needed, just a technique.  When I have an overabundance of veggies in my fridge and I don’t want to take the time to do something special to each one of them, I’ll most likely throw them together in a soup and call it a day.  But the other day I decided to roast them, then puree into a soup.  This normally goes against my “one pot” manifesto, but it was nice to change things up a bit, plus you get a different flavor from the caramelized browned bits resulting from a high oven temperature.  This technique is perfect for fall and winter vegetables like hard squash and root veggies.

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Roasted Vegetable Soup Technique:

Types of veggies to use: onion (peeled and cut in large chunks), whole garlic cloves (unpeeled), hard squash (remove seeds and peel skin if necessary), cauliflower (cut into florets), beets (peeled and chopped), fennel (chopped).

Preheat oven to 425º.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

Gather your vegetables and peel and chop them, keeping in mind that hard squash takes a bit longer to cook than something like cauliflower, so the squash will need to be in smaller pieces to cook at the same time.  Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  At this point you can also add either chopped fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, or dried spices like curry or cumin.  Place them on the baking sheet, making sure you aren’t overcrowding the pan and they aren’t stacked on top of each other.  If the pan is too crowded, the vegetables will steam instead of roast, and we want that nice golden brown that comes from plenty of breathing room.

Roast in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes, turning the pan as necessary to ensure even cooking, or until veggies are soft and have turned golden brown in places (see above middle photo).

Remove from the oven and pop the garlic out of its paper.  Add the veggies to a blender and purée with vegetable stock or the stock of your choice (or even water) to get the consistency you want.  You can go for a thick, hearty purée, or a thinner, silkier soup.  Season with salt and pepper as need and serve with your choice of toasted seeds, nuts, a swirl of yogurt or cashew cream, or some spicy chili powder.  Enjoy!

 

 

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