Ciao Italia Blog Exclusive: Roasted Vegetable Soup

January 23, 2009

There’s not much to like about sub-zero temperatures, but these cold winter nights sure do make a hearty soup taste extra good. Here’s one I really like.

You can get more flavor out of vegetable soup by roasting the veggies first. The natural sugars will caramelize as they cook and provide a greater depth of flavor. Vary the veggies to include things like parsnips, green beans, sweet potatoes, turnips, and Brussels sprouts.

Chunky Roasted Vegetable Soup

Serves 8

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1 large leek, white part only, well washed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 small red skin potatoes cut into chunks
3 large peeled carrots or parsnips cut into chunks
2 cups broccoli florets
4 ribs celery, cut into chunks
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 400F

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large soup pot (4 quart); add the garlic and leeks and cook over medium high heat until the leeks are very soft. Turn off the heat.

Combine the salt, pepper, celery seed and oregano in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, carrots, broccoli, celery and onion and toss the veggies well in the mixture. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil to the veggies and coat well.

Transfer the veggies to a baking sheet keeping them in a single layer. Roast them for about 30 minutes, turning them once or twice.

Add the roasted vegetables to the soup pot with the tomato juice and wine. Tie the parsley and thyme together with kitchen string and add to the pot.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the parsley and thyme and discard them.

Stir in the lemon juice. Correct the seasoning adding more salt if desired. Serve piping hot with crusty bread and a salad.

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