Roasted root vegetable soup – A Made-up Recipe

roasted vegetablesMy personal obsession with my submersion blender continues…

This autumnal soup of roasted root vegetables is sweet and homey. It smells great while cooking, and is easily converted to vegetarian or vegan using the instructions below.

Ingredients:

  • Carrots (16 oz)
  • Parsnips (3, pealed)
  • Garlic (3 cloves)
  • Sweet yellow onion (1/2)
  • Olive oil (3 tbs)
  • Butter (1 tbs)
  • Chicken broth (32 oz)
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: Plain yogurt (1/2 cup)

Instructions:

  1. Place carrots, parsnips and garlic in a pan with about 2 tbs olive oil and salt to taste. Roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour, or unlit lightly browned and bubbling over the skin.
  2. Slice onion. Saute in sauce pan with 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil until translucent.
  3. Add roasted veggies to the onion and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes over low-moderate heat. Turn heat off.
  4. Fish out the bay leaf–seriously, this will fuck things up
  5. Blend vegetables and broth using a submersion blender, or transfer to external blender as needed.
  6. Optional: for a little extra creaminess blend in 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  7. Garnish with parsnip chips, croutons, toasted pine nuts or slivered almonsds

Variations:

  • Vegetarian: sub out the the butter for an extra tbs of olive oil and the chicken broth for vegetable; skip the yogurt for vegans. Super good.
  • More veg: leaks,  red potatoes, rutabagas and celery root are great additions to the roast veg mix, and can be treated exactly like the carrots and parsnips. Just chuck them in there. A NOTE ON BEATS: A small amount of red beats will go a long way; be free with the golden ones. NO: fennel. I mean that.

Beet greens that actually taste good – A Made-up Recipe

recipe for beet greens
Photo credit: Larry Hoffman on Flickr

Beets are one of my favorite vegetables to cook with, especially in winter–rich, earthy, sweet–great in salads, soups, or chopped up with other root vegetables. But what are you supposed to do with the leafy green tops? They can be bitter and coarse, and they are easy to overcook–but a little extra prep, and whole lot of salt, they can also be delicious. This is my favorite easy recipe for beet greens that actually taste good.

Ingredients:

  • Beet greens
  • 1/4 Onion (white or yellow, diced)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, diced)
  • Olive oil (2 tbs)
  • Salt
  • Red wine vinegar (just a splash)

Instructions:

  1. Wash greens and trim stems; chop into 1 inch slices
  2. Dice onions. Saute until just tender. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more. Remove from heat
  3. Meanwhile, boil water with lots of table salt. When water is at a rolling boil, add greens; the water will briefly stop boiling. As soon as it boils again, remove from heat and drain.
  4. Add greens to onion, garlic, oil mixture. Toss, sprinkle with red wine vinegar, and cook about 2 minutes more on high heat.

Whole-broccoli soup – A Made-up Recipe

broccoli
Photo credit: mooste on Flickr

Broccoli is a perennial go-to vegetable–but I always feel a bit bad cooking the florets and throwing away the rest. I wanted to start using the whole broccoli.

You know those long, thick woody stalks no one likes? In this whole-broccoli soup, they’re fantastic.

Ingredients:

  • Broccoli (3+ whole stalks)
  • Sweet yellow onion (1/2 large or 1 small, chopped)
  • Cheddar cheese (1-2 cups grated)
  • Garlic (1 clove, chopped)
  • Butter (3 tbs)
  • Flour (3 tbs)
  • Milk (2 cups)*
  • Chicken broth (2 cups)**
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil (2-4 TBS)

*Substitute cream or half and half as follows: 1 part water to 1 part half and half; 1 part cream to 3 parts water
**I use chicken broth, but any type will do

Instructions:

  1. Separate broccoli florets from stems. Chop florets into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.
  2. Remove any leaves or branches from stalks. If you’re feeling ambitious, peal stalks. Chop the trunk into 1/4 inch slices. Place in cast iron pan or rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 TBS olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Roast at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Turn once or twice while roasting.
  3. Meanwhile, saute onions in olive oil ~4 minutes
  4. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes
  5. Place onion, garlic, and broccoli stalks in sauce pan. Add 2 cups broth and simmer over low heat 10 minutes or until soft.
  6. Meanwhile, in a second sauce pan, melt butter, mix in flour to make a roux. Add pepper to taste.
  7. Add milk and simmer, stirring until thickened. Add cheddar cheese.
  8. Blend broth mixture til smooth, either in pan using handheld submersion blender, or in a traditional blender in two batches.
  9. Add broccoli florets and simmer till tender, about 5 minutes
  10. Add roux to broth and stir till combined. Eat!

Variations:

  • Garnish with crispy bacon, croutons, or sliced green onion according to taste
  • Include potato, in almost any way — got leftover baked potato? Just toss it in the broth mixture and blend it up. Alternatively, boil potatoes till soft, slice and add with broccoli florets