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)
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.