Detox Monday

With the exception of the Macaroni & Cheese that I made for New Year’s Day, I really haven’t cooked since before our trip to Tucson. I’ve been on a dining out marathon, so it felt good to get back in the proverbial saddle yesterday, and spend some serious time in the kitchen. I look forward to sharing the fruits of my labor with you over the next week.

To get back into the swing of things, I naturally looked to my favorite, Ina Garten, for inspiration. One flip through her Family Style cookbook, and I was raring to go. I broke my cooking abstinence by making Roasted Vegetable Soup. Wholesome butternut squash, carrots and parsnip give this dish the bulk of its rich, sweet flavors.

I actually contemplated not posting this recipe; once I sampled the soup, I realized that I’m still not a huge fan of butternut squash as a predominant flavor. But when I made a few tweaks and additions to the soup to try to cut the sweet, I think it turned into a beautiful, hardy and healthy soup. I’ve detailed my changes and suggestions below. If you enjoy carrot, butternut squash or sweeter soups, you’ll love this!


Roasted Vegetable Soup

Yield: 8 servings

What You Need

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled (I used a russet potato instead)
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh group pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • NOTE: I also added 6 garlic cloves, minced, and a few dashes of nutmeg.

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Cut the carrots, parsnips, potato, and butternut squash in cubes. Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 sheet pans. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 8 cups of chicken stock. Coarsely puree the roasted vegetables, chicken stock, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade (or use a handheld blender).
  4. If using a food processor, pour the soup back into the pot and season, to taste. Thin with more chicken stock if needed, and reheat. The soup should be thick but not like a vegetable puree, so add more chicken stock and/or water until it’s the consistency you like.
  5. Serve with homemade croutons or crusty bread.
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