I’ve made roasted vegetable soups before, and none of them came out very good, and I’ve made several pumpkin soups before, too. While they have been pretty good, none has knocked my socks off. So I didn’t have very high hopes for this soup.
After all, I was trying to use up some odds and ends after the refrigerator broke down, before the vegetables went bad.
My father had made a roasted red pepper soup in the past that was delicious, but when I tried to make a veganized version, it was clear that the cream he used had been a major part of the taste, so my version was flat.
This time I hoped the addition of carrots, celery and lots of garlic would add depth of flavor. Roasting the garlic, or most of it, mellowed the taste and allowed it to be more of a background note, as opposed to singing lead.
I didn’t bother writing this down as I concocted, although I usually do. So after it was done and I tasted it, I rushed to record the ingredients, while it was fresh in my mind.
The result is a velvety, deep orange soup with sweetness from the caramelized vegetables coming through. Nice cold weather comfort food, and I took some right over to a friend who is grieving the loss of her husband.
I will definitely be making this soup again!
Vegan Roasted Vegetable Soup
10 cloves garlic
2 red peppers or equivalent (I used 8-10 smaller ones)
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 cups water
salt to taste
2 yukon gold potatoes, diced
1-2 TBS lemon juice
Remove the seeds from the kabocha and cut off the skin. Cut it into smallish chunks. Place it into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Stir to mix.
Cut the carrots into smallish chunks. Remove the skin from the onion and cut it into wedges. Place the carrots, onion, peppers (leave whole) and garlic (keep the skins on) into another 9 x 13 inch pan. Drizzle with olive oil (don’t skimp on this, or your garlic will end up like little rocks.) Stir to mix.
Place both pans in an oven and bake at 375 degrees F for about 50-60 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
I put the pan with the peppers on the top shelf, so they would get more heat, because I wanted them to get caramelized, adding to the flavor.
Bake until the peppers and maybe some of the onions have a dark brownish color on the surface.
Don’t burn them, although you definitely want some of that dark caramelized or charred-ness, to impart smoky, rich flavor.
When the vegetables are done, in a large pot on the stove, sauté celery and another 2 cloves of garlic in the 2 TBS olive oil.
While those are cooking, remove the stems from the roasted peppers, and slip the skins off the roasted garlic cloves. You don’t need to take the skin off the peppers.
Dump all the roasted vegetables into the pot, along with the potatoes, water and salt. Cover and boil until the potatoes are done, about 15 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender. Be sure to leave the blender cover ajar and cover it with a dishtowel as you blend. Otherwise, if you cover the blender completely, the steam from the hot food inside will cause an explosion when you turn it on.
Alternately, you could let the mixture cool somewhat before blending, but again, be careful when blending hot liquids. I prefer to leave the lid ajar anyway, just to be sure.
Add the lemon juice. Adjust the soup, adding more water to thin it, if necessary, or more salt or lemon juice, to suit your taste.
Serve it with a nice green salad and some crusty, whole grain bread.