Now that autumn has arrived I am eger to start making soup again. Don’t get me wrong, I always love a hot pot of soup…I just find it depressing to make soup in August, even though we had a nonexistent summer in Scotland. This past week I was in London for Decorex and ran into my friend and designer Hugh St Clair. I was reminded of the lovely roasted vegetable soup that he made for me when I was his guest in London. It’s such a simple, yet complex tasting concoction.
Something wonderful happens to vegetables when they’re slowly roasted for a very long time…their flavors soften (yet become more intense), and they fill the kitchen with smells of goodness. The best part is that you can use any vegetables you have on hand, so you can clear your crisper. Enjoy!
2 large sweet potatoes
1 red onion, peeled, quartered
5 shallots, peeled
4 – 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, trimmed
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small bunch of fresh rosemary and thyme, stems removed
6 – 8 cups of chicken stock
Optional Toppings: Parmesan cheese, fresh thyme, toasted seeds, Greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut sweet potatoes into large pieces. Trim the root and the toughest part of the green end of the leek, cut it into quarters lengthwise, rinse well under cool water, dry. Lightly coat all of the vegetables and herbs with olive oil. Spread the vegetables on the baking sheet. Sprinkle all of the vegetables lightly with salt and pepper.
Bake for 2 – 3 hours or until all the vegetables are tender, turning occasionally. Remove them as they become soft and turn golden brown on the edges. Add the vegetables to a food processor and puree until smooth. Place in a stockpot and add the chicken stock. Simmer for a few minutes, adding more chicken stock if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
Garnish with lightly toast seeds, shaved Parmesan, fresh thyme, or Greek yogurt.
Serves 4 small bowls