Roasted Root & Squash Soup

Last week Sarah shared her fantastic recipe for squash soup with a citrus zing. Then we debated: should share another soup recipe this week, especially another one that uses squash? The answer was yes, because for us, it’s most definitely soup season and squash season! I was also jumping at the bit to share this recipe before Thanksgiving because I think it could make a fantastic addition to your feast, but it’s also a great way to use up leftover roasted vegetables, turning them into a completely new dish so you’re not eating the same leftovers for days.

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I made up this recipe a few years ago, and I never make it exactly the same way twice. I truly believe that anything goes when it comes to the vegetables. In this post I’m giving you an example of a typical vegetable mix in our house, but you could easily add more vegetables to the mix and subtract the ones you don’t like. The same goes for the garnish. I don’t buy anything special for the garnish and always make a point of using what I have on hand. If you do the same, I’m sure you’ll come up with some pretty surprising and delicious combinations.

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Soup Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth + additional water
  • 1 medium/large butternut squash
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 medium/large onion
  • 2 large beets
  • 3-5 medium potatoes

Garnish Suggestions

  • beet or chard greens
  • tuffle oil
  • parmesan cheese
  • sour cream

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 How To

  • Prepare the vegetables for roasting. Cut the squash in half and clean out the seeds. Coarsely chop the beets, potatoes, and two carrots. Place all vegetables on an oiled cooking sheet or baking pan and roast until soft (about one hour), stirring halfway through.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, dice the onion and remaining carrot and saute them in olive oil until the onions are translucent.

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  •  When the vegetables are done roasting, add them to the soup pot (removing the squash from its rind) with the broth and enough water to reach the top of the vegetables. Bring this mixture to a boil and then turn down to low heat for blending.
  • Carefully puree the soup using either an immersion or upright blender. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and then you’re done!

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About the Garnishes

I think garnishes add a special touch to what is otherwise a homogeneous soup (not that that’s a bad thing). As I mentioned, there’s no particular right or wrong when it comes to the garnish, but you may want to think about using things that will add a different color, texture, or flavor to the soup. I often use some cooked greens because they add both color and texture to the smooth, pureed base. I like parmesan or cheddar cheeses for their nutty taste, but the tang of yogurt or sour cream is also a great compliment to the sweet flavor of the vegetables. And, as you know, I love the taste of truffles, and a dash of truffle oil works really well on this soup.

If using greens, saute them in some olive oil to prepare them. You can do this with a touch of salt and some diced onion and/or crush garlic or garlic powder.

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Alex loves this soup, I’m sure it has something to do with the sweet/savory combination from the roasted vegetables and the easy-to-eat pureed texture. I love knowing that he’s eating such a wide variety of vegetables with every bite. Oh, and I already have two quarts of this frozen for when I’m too tired to cook!

There you have it! A relatively simple soup that is so easy to prepare, packed with flavor, and with so many different veggies! Try making this for friends and family over the holiday season and I’m sure it’ll be a hit… if not, just send it to my house, I have a freezer that I’m looking to fill ;-).  
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Squash Soup with Citrus

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If you’re starting to feel the chill of winter (shoutout to the northern peninsula of Michigan with its 15 inch snowfall forecast!) this squash soup with citrus is exactly what you need.  The butternut squash will warm your belly and the time it takes to roast in the oven will warm your house.  It all comes together in about thirty minutes so you can quickly cozy back up on the couch.

My mom actually blended up this soup when I was visiting last weekend and it was so tasty that I had to share it.  Usually I find squash soups a little bland, but that is not the case here.  The lemon and orange zest add a lot of flavor, so please don’t skimp on those two ingredients.  While this soup fits perfectly into the fall since squash is in season, the citrus flavors really remind you of summer, which seems so far away now.  It’s also a hearty vegetarian dish to add to your soup rotation for the coming cold months.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium to large butternut squash
  • 5 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • handful of roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 small sweet red pepper
  • small pinch of saffron threads
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

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The how:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the ends off of the butternut squash, peel it, cut in half, remove the seeds and cut into chunks. Spread the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 TBSP olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg.  Roast in the oven until the squash begins to caramelize, about thirty minutes.
  • While the squash is roasting, chop the onion, garlic carrots and celery.  In a large soup pot, drizzle the bottom with the remaining 3 TBSP of olive oil (no measuring necessary-just drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan).  Turn the pot onto medium-low and add the carrots, onions, garlic and celery.  When the veggies start to turn translucent and soft, stir in the saffron, lemon and orange zest.  After a few minutes, add a quart of water, turn the heat up to medium and allow the veggies to fully soften, about 15 minutes.
  • By now your squash should be starting to caramelize.  Add the soft squash to the soup pot.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender (welcome to the club!) simply add the soup to your regular blender little by little and puree.  It’s a little bit messier and delicate since the soup is hot, but it works just as well. Once the entire contents of the pot is pureed add salt if necessary.
  • Dish out the soup into small mugs and sprinkle roasted pumpkin seeds and finely chopped sweet red peppers on top.
  • This recipe is enough to feed 8-10 people.  If you plan on reheating the soup, I recommend doing in on the stovetop on low heat.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I am chest (cheeks?) deep in soup season.  This is the fourth soup I’ve made in two weeks!  I love the simplicity of only having to watch over one pot and I have to admit I love standing next to a hot stove.  My fingers and toes are always freezing so I tend to stand over the soup and stir it the entire time.  Maybe I was a witch in a past life?

*This recipe was slightly altered from a recipe found in Rachel Ray magazine.
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