Need a vegetable boost to undo the excesses of the weekend? Make yourself a bowl of hearty, creamy roasted vegetable soup.
This is a soup for a Monday. More specifically, a Monday that follows a weekend full of pizza, Netflix and wine. Eating enough vegetables on a Monday cancels out a weekend of poor food choices. That’s how it works, right? Let’s just all agree, and not ask too many questions.
Related: If you are in London I highly recommend a visit to Homeslice for some of the greatest pizza I’ve had in a long time. The mushroom, ricotta, pumpkin seed & chilli with soy truffle glaze is the pizza my dreams are made of.
But back to Mondays and vegetables…
There are two main advantages of roasting the vegetables before they go into the soup pot. First, the flavours become more concentrated as water evaporates and sugars caramelise. Second, it makes prep SO much easier. Chopping a pumpkin is the worst. If you stick the whole thing in the oven first, cutting and peeling is super easy once it’s cooked.
Making a roasted vegetable soup is more of a formula than a recipe. Just use a combination of whatever happens to be in the fridge/pantry/freezer. All you need to do is pick at least one item from these four main components:
- Base: Onion, garlic, celery, leeks, ginger, curry paste, bacon, chorizo, chilli peppers.
- Body: Pumpkin, sweet potato, cauliflower, carrot, red capsicum, corn, broccoli, parsnip, beetroot, tomato.
- Liquid: Chicken stock, vegetable stock, coconut milk, water, cream, milk, almond milk.
- Garnish: Sour cream, crispy fried bacon or chorizo, caramelised onions, fresh herbs, croutons, crumbled blue cheese or feta, fried haloumi, toasted pine nuts.
Simply sauté the base ingredients in butter or oil until softened, add the roasted body ingredients and liquid, then simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes. Blend with a stick blender until smooth, then serve with your choice of garnish.
The great thing about soups is that they taste even better the next day. Mix it up with some different garnishes to keep your tastebuds interested. On the first day we enjoyed mini turkey meatballs, fresh parsley and sliced chilli, and on day two it was crispy fried chorizo and crème fraîche.
The recipe below matches smoky chorizo with creamy butternut squash and sweet potato. Bonus vegetable points with a sneaky leek and carrot tucked in there too.
- 1 butternut squash or small pumpkin
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1-2 carrots
- 1 leek
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced
- 2 inches of chorizo diced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 litre chicken stock
- salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Your choice of garnish for serving e.g. fresh herbs, mini meatballs, crème fraîche, toasted nuts, crispy chorizo
Preheat oven to 200C (fan bake) / 220C (bake).
Wash any dirt from squash, potatoes, carrots and leek and slice in half lengthways. Arrange on a baking tray and drizzle over one tablespoon of oil.
Roast in oven until soft and golden. You may need to remove the leek before the other vegetables since it won't take as long.
Once cooled, set the roasted vegetables aside, first discarding any skins and other bits that you don't want in the soup. (You can leave the carrot skins on - you won't even notice when they're blended up into the soup)
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pot over a medium heat, then sauté garlic and chorizo until soft.
Add paprika and cumin, and toast lightly before adding the stock and roasted vegetables. Bring to a simmer, and cook over a low heat for at least 30mins.
Remove from the heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth - being careful of any hot liquid that may splash up. Add more water or stock if you prefer a thinner soup.
Divide into bowls and top with your choice of garnish.