Roasted Root Vegetable Soup– A Fall Comfort

Fall is here!  Fall is here!

The leaves are beginning to turn, the nights and mornings are growing cooler, and there is a smokey note in the air.  Fall is here!

Our local veggie stand is only open through October 31st.  That means there are just a couple of days left to take advantage of the wonderfully fresh produce.  Sweet carrots, golden beets, sweet onions, crisp potatoes, scrumptious zucchini and snappy parsnips.  YUM!

This soup is GREAT because it has all the taste and texture of a cream-based soup without any cream at all.  Guess what that means?  YOU CAN HAVE SECONDS!  And with this recipe, you will actually WANT to have seconds.

I originally roasted up a big batch of veggies and ate some for dinner.  I put the rest in a large container and stuck it in the fridge.  The next day, I had a TON of roasted vegetables on hand with no plans for them.  One of the best ways to use up leftovers is to put them in a soup, right? 

You can play with the vegetables used here.  If you don’t like parsnips, leave them out and just add more carrots.  Adding a heap of spinach before pureeing would be good too.  Use whatever you have on hand.

I ladled my soup into a bowl, added a dollop of nonfat greek yogurt, stirred it in and crumbled some cheese crackers on top. 

Hope you’re having a wonderful fall, y’all!

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

FOR THE ROASTED VEGETABLES:

8 cups (2 quarts) fat-free chicken broth, divided (I used reduced sodium)

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

6 medium red potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes

2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

2 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into 3/4 inch half circles

1 medium onion, chopped

3 beets, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

FOR THE SOUP:

The rest of the chicken broth

14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE ROASTED VEGETABLES:

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. 

2.  In a large bowl with a whisk, combine 1/2 cup chicken broth with tomato paste, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

3.  Add chopped vegetables to the bowl and toss to coat.

4.  Coat a baking sheet with oil.  Place in the oven for 2 minutes or until the oil is hot. 

5.  Pour vegetable mixture onto the baking sheet.  Bake about an hour, turning every 15 minutes.  Let cool.

FOR THE SOUP:

6.  Place the vegetables in a large 6-quart soup pot.  Add the rest of the chicken broth, basil, and the can of diced tomatoes.

7.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

8.  Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serving suggestions:

– toasted bread with melted cheese on top

– dollop of sour cream or nonfat greek yogurt

– cheese flavored crackers or saltine crackers

– add cumin, chicken, black beans, chopped cilantro and crushed tortillas for a tortilla soup

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