Finally the cold weather has reached Charleston, SC. Well let’s say the temperatures dropped below 60 – which makes almost everybody in the Lowcountry frantically looking for their hats, gloves, scarves and UGG Boots…
This is the time where we drink hot apple cider, enjoy fresh baked cookies and the food habits switch from salad to soup.. Soup is such a blessing on a cold and wet day – it comforts us and at the same time keeps our hands warm…I love serving soup in mugs around a dinnertime fire and the children love it too.. Having your dinner in front of a crackling fire wrapped up in blankets on the couch or in the backyard is a treat you will want to experience more often! It is also a certain way how to get my kids to eat veggies.. Soups are versatile, healthy, tasty and they leave us so much room to experiment with spices, toppings and textures.
Let’s say this post convinces you to jump onto the soup train – a must have is an Immersion Blender. I bought mine off amazon – It is reasonably priced, easy to use, clean and store and it comes with a blending mug – https://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CSB-75BC-Blender-Brushed-Chrome/dp/B00ARQVM5O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481048714&sr=8-1&
This specific blenders shaft, blade and blender guard are made out of stainless steel so be careful if you use it on nonstick cookware – in this case I would recommend blending the soup in a high bowl or in the blending mug that comes with the blender..
It is also true that lot’s of soups do not need to be blended, but for the purpose of mug serving it is less messy to do so..
Roasted Vegetable Soup
feeds 8 – Prep time: 30min – Cook time: 60min
Olive oil (for frying and drizzling)
1 small red or yellow Onion
1 Tbsp garlic powder (for cauliflower)
1 Tsp salt (for cauliflower)
5 stems of parsley (whole)
2 juniper berries
2 cups vegetable broth
4 cups of water
3 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Garnish: Prosciutto and thyme
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Cut the stem out of the cauliflower, divide the florets into same sizes and put them onto a baking sheet – drizzle with olive oil, salt and garlic powder – toss and bake for 30 – 40 min or until the cauliflower is evenly browned and has darker tips..
In a large pot heat up 2 Tablespoons of olive oil – cut the carrots, parsnip and onion in small cubes and fry them in the oil for about 10 minutes to get a nice and roasty flavor.
Add 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water, the crushed juniper berries and the stems of parsley – cover and cook until soft (10 min) – add the cauliflower, add 2 more cups of water and the thyme sprigs – bring to a boil and cook covered for 10 more minutes so the flavors can mix well – when done cooking remove the parsley stems and thyme sprigs
Blend with an Immersion blender – add 1 Tbsp of Balsamic vinegar and the cream – taste!
Does it need salt? Pepper? More Thyme? Maybe Chili flakes?
Play around with it…. see what’s left in the bottom drawers of your fridge.. maybe you have some pumpkin from yesterdays dinner? Leeks or eggplant that you can roast with the cauliflower? Add a potato to get a thicker consistency or more water or stock to get a thinner soup? Add some Curry to get a middle eastern flavor? Fresh coriander, chili and lemon to make it taste more asiatic? You know what your family likes.. – you can always divide the soup into batches to experiment with it to make sure you will end up with something they will like and eat. Or plan a soup tasting dinner with a bunch of different toppings to choose from – your family will for sure get a kick out of being a judge in a tasting and you may be surprised with their answers!
Prosciutto and Thyme, Sour Cream and Thyme, sundried Tomatoes, Garlic breadcrumbs, Bacon, Sour Cream and Paprika, Pumpkin seed oil, roasted Nuts (Pine, Pecan, walnut,..), Smoked Salmon, Chili flakes, ..