As the fall season approaches, temperatures dip, and there is an abundance of autumn harvest, soups make the perfect meal to warm the body and soul.
Making your own pot of soup can be healthier and less expensive than buying canned soups. It is also easy to make and is adaptable to setting an extra place at the dining table when your child’s friend from the football team shows up at dinner time after the early fall season practice.
The types of soups that can be made are limitless. Meat lovers can add chunks of whatever you have on hand. Vegetarians have many options. There are fish soups, egg soups, vegetable soups, and more. There are thin broths, or hearty stews. The list can go on, so use your imagination!
Many cooks think of soup as putting meat and vegetables in a pot, adding water and seasoning and simmering until done. When using the abundance of root vegetables available during the fall, a delicious way to start is to roast the vegetables first, adding a depth of flavor and color to the heartiness of the soup.
In this soup, you can leave the skins on many of the root vegetables, if you prefer. Try to keep all vegetable pieces about the same size (1/2 inch cubes or chunks), for even cooking. All ingredient amounts are approximate; keep the prepared vegetable-to-vegetable ratio one-to-one (i.e. 1 cup each, 2 cups each, etc.)
Roasted Garlic and Vegetable Soup (Vegan)
1 large Yukon Gold potato, scrubbed and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium golden (orange) beets, peeled and diced
1 medium rutabagas, peeled and diced
1 large or 2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch chunks or cubes
2 to 3 carrots, scrubbed and sliced into 1/2 inch chunks or cubes
1 large leek, sliced lengthwise, cleaned thoroughly, then sliced thin crosswise
1 head garlic, cut off top third exposing the cloves
4 to 5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 quart vegetable stock or water
1 cup apple juice or cider
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Sprinkle a bit of olive oil over cut side of garlic and wrap in foil and put in oven to roast.
Mix potato, sweet potato, beets, rutabagas, parsnips, and carrots with approximately 3 Tbsp. olive oil, coating well. Place in single layer on cookie sheet and place in oven and let roast for about 15 minutes.
In large, heavy soup pot, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil (or butter, if not vegan). Sauté leeks for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the roasted root vegetables and apple juice. Cook until juice is reduced by half.
Add water or stock, thyme, bay leaves and parsley. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust liquid, as necessary.
Remove soft, aromatic garlic from oven, and squeeze the garlic from the bulb into small bowl and mash well with fork. Stir garlic into the soup and season to taste with fresh ground pepper and sea salt. Serve steamy hot.
Author’s culinary experience and love of soups