Sunday, September 30, 2007

the nothing soup

with the coming of cooler air, earlier sunsets and changing colours of leaves, the fall season is — in north america — always the time when we start to crave heartier fare and comforting foods to counteract the chill in the air.

one such food is soups.

while soups have never been at the top of the list for me in the realm of things i REALLY want to eat when the weather turns cold, there are several i really do enjoy. one such one is a simple purée of only a few vegetables and is, appropriately, called the "nothing soup" as it has very little in terms of vegetables but still packs a lot of flavour.

it results in a light soup which is nicely orange coloured and tastes somewhat like that of the once very popular carrot (ginger) soup. the soup can be finished with more stock or water for a non dairy version or made richer with either cream or milk. it can also be done with soymilk keeping it vegan/vegetarian/parve.

the "nothing" roasted vegetable soup

this soup takes everyday pantry items like carrots, onions and garlic and turns them into a simple soup for the Fall. roasting the vegetables adds more flavour and brings out their natural sweetness.

serves 2 - 4


1 large carrot, well scrubbed (remove top & tip)
2 large onions with skins on, cut in halves or quartered*
5 cloves garlic, leave skins on*
2 tsp olive oil

2 heaped tbsp (parve) chicken or (vegetable) stock powder, OR
2 bouillon cubes

3 c water
1 - 2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste
fresh basil or dill, chopped (don't omit)

to finish:

1 c of either: water, milk or cream or regular soymilk
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
dash of cayenne pepper or hot paprika (i use 1/8 tsp)

*the garlic will cook faster than the other vegetables, so either add it about 20 minutes after you place the vegetables in to roast or remove it sooner about 20 minutes before the vegetables are finished cooking.

**placing the onions face down will help them caramelize faster.


set oven to 425F and line a pyrex with either parchment paper or tin foil. if using tin foil, then grease it a bit to prevent sticking.

prepare the vegetables and place them in the pyrex. leave the skins on the onions but they (obviously) must be removed before puréeing. drizzle the olive oil over them before putting in the oven. you can place the onions face down or roast them face side up and turn them half way through. if your carrots are small, then use two as i did below.

bake them for about 1 hour or longer, until they are roasted and soft. i often cut the carrot in half lengthwise so it cooks more evenly and quickly if the carrot is huge.

if i cut the onions in quarters, i bake them face up and put the quarters back into halves 1/2 way through cooking so they don't burn. if you cut them in halves only you don't really have to worry about doing this. the choice of how you do it is up to you.

once they are all roasted, remove them to a plate. remove the skins from the onion and garlic. make sure to detach the root ends of the onions and to remove the tips that are crisp and charred. cut up the carrot into chunks.

in a pot, place the water, stock powder or cubes, 2 tsp sugar and the lemon juice. bring to a boil.

add the vegetables and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes.

purée half of this at a time, placing it in another pot. once the second half has been puréed, taste the soup and add the salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil.

turn off the heat and add the basil or dill, along with the extra water or cream or milk, olive oil and cayenne or paprika, if using.

i usually let the soup sit for about an hour before serving to let the flavours come together. i find this helps a lot rather than serving it right away.



~M said...

This looks awesome!

burekaboy — said...

~m - thanks :) recipe is from newspaper from a restaurant. you can even just use the roasted onions and garlic with part of the carrot instead of all of it. freezes well, too.

sara said...

hola chico, amazing how from cold Canada you make a soup just about the same as here in C.I.,the only diference is that i add some pumpkin and leeks instead of onion and i pot roast the veggies,then add water or stock etc. etc. till the final's called potaje here.i'm craving for it now but still too hot here!(i usually make tons of it and freeze for the whole winter)

Roo said...

I know what you mean about wanting warm and hearty food as the seasons draw in!

Soups are a good start. My gran always made a vegetable soup at the start of the week and by the end of the week, it was a big old stew, the pot never seemed to come off a simmer!

The honey cake recipe was delicious too! The last thing I baked before the builders ripped out the kitchen (we are having work done) So if you have any easy, quick and tasty micro recipes, please let me know! ;o)

Anonymous said...

I love soup in the winter, this looks like one I will be trying soon.

burekaboy — said...

hi sara - hehe, i wouldn't be calling it "cold" here yet! wait a few months and when it's in the -20s and -30s, then i'll be able to complain ;) never tried roasting the vegetables in the pot -- sounds like something to try for the next time. your potaje sounds muy bueno ;)

hi roo - i'm sure by the end of the month, when it really starts to get colder, i'll be wanting all sorts of heavier things.

many times those soup/stews improve tremendously with time -- sounds like good memories of your grandmother.

thanks for trying the honey cake and letting me know how it turned out. glad to hear you liked it. i hope it wasn't too dry because of the lower fat content (not sure if you added the applesauce or prune paste to it).

as for quick meals for the microwave, i'm sure i could come up with a few things :) i'll get back to you soon. hope the renovations are going well and won't take too long.

hi jamila - i've also made this and added cumin, coriander (powder & fresh leaf), etc and it was very good. hope you like if you give it a try. of course, it's better with milk/cream :))

chanit said...

המרק שלך נראה מצויין. יופי :-)

Pam said...

Yay! Soup!


Denise said...

Hi - why do you have to leave the onion skins on - to prevent them from burning?
I know sometimes you put onion skins in soup for colour but haven't heard of this before.
It is uncanny how many of your recipes are similar to ones I have, if I had the ko'ach to do a blog you would think I was just copying from you.
I like your writing style, it's always refreshing to find literate bloggers.
Am making your soup tomorrow, also trying a Thai curry and pareve nougat ice cream. (My husband can't believe I am actually making dessert.) I only use recipes, I can spot good ones but am totally uncreative myself.

burekaboy — said...

hi denise - yes, i'm sure it's to prevent burning, otherwise the last layer of onion would be charred and unusable. i'd advise you to thin the soup with either stock or soy/milk as it is thick after pureeing it. recheck for salt/pepper, etc.

i guess we have similar tastes ;) glad to read you enjoy my writing -- some of the postings were done quickly so they're not as thought out as i'd have liked them to be...

have fun in the kitchen tomorrow. hope you enjoy the results - Shabbat Shalom. oh yeah, happy new year, too! ;)