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Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

One thing which I really love about autumn is that we start to want to eat soups, stews and casseroles and to move away from lighter eating.  Our bodies begin to crave heartier!  Heartier doesn't always have to equate with heavier, or calorie laden however!  This soup is a great example of hearty sustenance, yet light!

A simple mix of root vegetables are cut up and roasted in the oven with just a touch of oil to help to caramelize them a bit.  Roasting and caramelising vegetables really brings out their natural sweetness and earthiness in some cases . . .   Carrots and parsnips are especially suited to roasting.

Today I roasted parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, swede (rutabaga), red onions and shallots.  But you could use any combination of vegetables you like.  Butternut squash would also be lovely.   I scattered some herbs and seasoning over the veg before roasting.

Once the vegetables have nicely roasted you simply combine them in a pot with vegetable or chicken stock and simmer them until they are very, very soft . . . 

Once that happens I use my stick/immersion blender and blitz them util they are smooth. You could also put the soup through a sieve to make the mixture really smooth.  I'm rather lazy so I just use the immersion blender. You could also use a regular blender or a food processor, but be careful to vent it by leaving off the cap of the blender and cover with a towel, holding it down.  Hot things tend to expand and explode under the pressure of blitzing in a completely closed container. The last thing you want is hot soup all over the kitchen or your skin!

You also don't want to be eating vegetable puree, so keep some additional stock that you can add to the finished soup to thin it out if you think it is too thick.  I like my soup thick, but not too thick!  I want it to be soup!

I always toast some bread croutons to float on top.  Because it is pretty much autumn now, I cut some buttered whole wheat/rye bread out with an oak leaf cutter, sprinkled it with some herbs/seasonings and toasted in a hot oven until they were crisp and golden.  Seriously tasty on top of soup and they look really nice too!

*Roasted Root Vegetable Soup*
Serves 4 generously
One of my favourite soups to make in the autumn when all of the root vegetables are ripe for the pulling and the days are becoming cooler.  Delicious. Its a balance to end up with soup instead of vegetable puree, so make sure you add enough stock so this doesn't happen.  The amount will largely depend on the vegetables you use! 

4 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
(I like to use a mix of carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, onions, and shallots)
2 - 3 TBS olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme leaves (you could use a couple sprigs of fresh thyme if you have it)
1 1/2 to 2 litres of good chicken stock. (6 to 8 cups)  

Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.  Toss the vegetables in a bowl along with the oil, seasalt, black pepper and thyme.  Spread out on a lightly buttered baking sheet in a single layr.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until tender, giving them a stir a couple of times.

Heat 1 1/2 litres of the chicken stock in a saucepan.  Add the roasted vegetables and heat through.  Remove from the heat and, using an immersion blender, blitz until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  If the soup is too thick, thin with the remaining chicken stock until you have the consistency you want.  Heat through again and serve hot, ladled into heated bowls or mugs.

Low in fat, high in fibre and vitamins, and easy on the pocketbook, this soup spells winner all round!  It is a really tasty way to get in some of your five a day! Serve some crusty bread or rolls on the side and nobody will be complaining!  Bon Appetit!
Marie Rayner
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  1. This is a goodie. Thanks for sharing, looks delicious.


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