Monday, August 9, 2010
Ah, blissful summer of the northern hemisphere gone. (Just like the 4th of August I might add, lost somewhere over the Pacific). Dropped back into Brisbane winter - icy cold and bleak, with that damp wind that cuts through all your clothes and chills you, the long dark nights ... ok, not really. But it is cold! Seriously!
And winter = hot steamy soup. Regardless of where you live in the world. Oh, and maybe roast veggies. And warm buttered bread. Hmm..... wonder if I can have all of them at once?
I must digress for a moment to tell you why I love roasting veggies. Well, aside from the fact that roasting brings out the sweetest, most wonderful flavours, it's also a process where I can chop, chop, chop, pop into the oven, and then ... play with Nelle. Or tidy up. Or catch up on work. Plus, roasted veggies gives you that lovely holiday/weekend feeling, whenever you need it.
This recipe is really easy, and open to your experimentation - try using other root veggies, in different combinations, whatever you have on-hand. Plus you can have it different thicknesses (really thin vs. puree-style). Or even different textures - if you can be bothered to press the soup through a sieve you'll get an amazing silky smooth texture that's worth the effort. (Unless your two year old is screaming, at which time just serve as is!) But I must admit I love the parsnips in here ... they sweeten up the whole soup really nicely.
Roasted Roots Soup
Freeze extra portions for great lunches or quick dinners
5-7 fist-sized potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
2 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, washed really well and chopped (up to where the green tops get hard-ish, use your best judgement)
3 Tbs spreadable butter, melted (or 1 1/2 Tbs each of butter and olive oil)
a pinch or two of sea salt
~ 1 L of milk or veggie stock
salt and pepper to taste
*use organic ingredients when you can, especially the milk
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (370F).
2. Put all the veggies, the butter, and the sea salt into a roasting dish and mix around so everything gets coated in buttery goodness.
3. Bake for around 1 hr (stirring them around every now and then), until the veggies are cooked through in the middles and crispy on their outsides.
4. Remove the veggies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, put them into your blender with the milk or veggie stock (in a couple of batches, if need be) and blend till smoothish. Add extra liquid as needed if you prefer a thinner soup versus a thick soup versus a puree.
5. If you want to make your soup extra-special, press it through a fine sieve. It's like silk. Warm your soup back up (in the still warm oven, or on the stovetop). Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy with some hot, buttered bread.
NOTE: I use milk in this recipe because I figure I can always use the extra calcium, and it's nice and rich. But if you prefer, feel free to use stock.
How much did this cost me?
I'm really going to have to estimate here, because I got all the veggies in my home-delivery box this week. But it was all organic. The potatoes were probably around $1.50, the leeks were about $2, the parsnips were about $2 and the milk was about $2. The spreadable butter was around $0.30. So I got a lovely batch of organic leek and potato and parsnip soup for less than $8. Which may sound like a lot, but add some bread and maybe a little salad and you could still feed a family of four for $4 a head or so.
And the most time-consuming part was the initial chopping. After that, it was easy peasy!
Now, please excuse me as it's time to wrap myself up in a nice warm blanket ...