A warm creamy bowl of this lovely soup made from nature’s richest root vegetables that are roasted and blended together is just what the body orders this time of year or anytime the thermometer dips below freezing. Root vegetables is a term used to describe vegetables grown underground; that is, the edible portion of the plant is the root. Roots are some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world primarily because they grow underground and absorb so many of the available nutrients in the soil. They are loaded with antioxidants and boost immunity as well as provide plenty of slow sugar-absorbing energy in the form of complex carbohydrates. More common root vegetables include: yams, beets, parsnips, turnips, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, horseradish, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes and radishes. For a more thorough review of root vegetables refer to a very resourceful vegetarian food blog, Oh My Veggies entry titled, “A Guide to Root Vegetables” or click on the photo below.
For this soup I chose onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, parsnips, carrots and the outlier, butternut squash because it lends a little more sweetness and color. Roasting brings out the natural sugars and flavors versus just boiling them like most soups prescribe. It is so worth the extra time! You could choose a whole different palette of vegetables, depending on what you have on hand. One thing I would not change is using the Herbes de Provence seasoning; it is still one of my all time favorites and I use it in so many dishes. It’s a good one to have around. For a completely vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth to blend your vegetables rather than chicken broth. I use Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base; it tastes great and is easy to store.
I top this super satisfying soup with a dollop of light sour cream or Chobani Coconut Greek yogurt which I discovered by accident when I didn’t have any sour cream. It works beautifully and of course I’m always stocked up on that particular flavor because it’s my My Go-To-Breakfast Dish! I love, love these croutons. If I’m lucky enough to have some good rustic Italian or French bread leftover from a meal the night before, it makes the best croutons the next day. Dice’m, toss’m with olive oil, toast’m in a hot oven, then sprinkle’m with shaved Parmesan and toast’m again. They make this soup even better if that’s possible! Finish off with a little chopped fresh parsley and you’re ready to serve!
- Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
- 1/2 small onion, cut into wedges
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
- 2 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes
- 1 cup peeled and sliced parsnips
- 1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
- 1 cup peeled and cubed butternut squash (I like to use precut cubes at Costco or Albertsons)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence seasoning
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth (I use Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base)
- 2 cups coconut creamer* or fat free half and half
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Light sour cream or Chobani Coconut Greek yogurt
- Chopped fresh Italian-leaf parsley leaves
- 4 thick slices day old Italian or French bread, cut into small cubes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Arrange vegetables in a single layer on two baking sheets covered with silpat mats or cooking spray. Sprinkle olive oil and Herbes de Provence over the vegetables and toss gently to coat evenly. Place in oven and roast at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until soft, flipping halfway through roasting time with a metal spatula. Remove and let cool slightly.
- In a large saucepan, heat 3 to 4 cups of vegetable broth.
- Add half of the vegetables and half of the heated vegetable broth to container of food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover and process until somewhat smooth but not pureed (or to whatever texture you prefer). Transfer to a large soup pot. Repeat with remaining vegetables and broth (or use a handheld blender to do the whole pot). Stir in coconut creamer* or half and half and season, to taste with salt and pepper. Heat through without boiling.
- For the Croutons: Place bread cubes in a skillet and toss with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 5 minutes or until toasted. Sprinkle shaved Parmesan over top and bake for another 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- When ready to serve drop a few teaspoons of light sour cream or yogurt around perimeter of each soup bowl and swirl with a wooden pick in a spiral pattern around the bowl. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley leaves and toss in a few Parmesan croutons.
*I found coconut creamer at Trader Joe's and find it to be a healthy alternative to fat free half and half if you're avoiding dairy products.