I know it is summer in the Northern hemisphere but England hasn’t shown many promising signs of it yet. So, soups are not quite off the menu. My soup recipes are usually inspired by something I have tasted at a cafe/restaurant or by what’s leftover in the fridge before the next grocery delivery. This one falls into the latter category.
I usually have roast vegetables with a green salad and cheese but as I said, the fridge was yet to be restocked and feta wasn’t to be found. In addition, I’d just returned from a work trip to Norway where I’d overdosed on their cheese (Brunost) until my belly hurt. So I was intentionally avoiding cheese. In addition, it was yet another rainy day in England and soup seemed like just the thing for dinner. Ras-el-Hanout (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ras_el_hanout) is the main flavouring in this soup as I wanted to make something not spiced with chilli but still flavoursome. You can change the spices used to suit your taste. Also, I really don’t like using stock to make soup as it takes away from the natural taste of the vegetables used.
When I say “Soup for dinner”, the usual response I get from my partner is “as a starter right ?”. I think we both agreed at the end of dinner that a roast vegetable soup is more than just a starter. Hope you try it and like it!
3 cups of vegetables for roasting, chopped into small chunks ( I used 2 carrots, 1 large potato, 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 yellow pepper, 1 red onion, 3 cloves of garlic)
Enough water to cover the roast vegetables
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of Ras-el-Hanout
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1. On a large tray, place chopped vegetables and pour the olive oil over them. Toss them gently to coat them in oil and roast them at 200ºC for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
2. Don’t leave the veggies in the oven and go anywhere as they can burn. Check on them every 10 minutes or so. You will find that the peppers, onion and zucchini will cook a lot faster than potatoes or carrots. So, you could start off with the carrots/potatoes and let them cook. After 15 minutes, add zucchini, onions, peppers and garlic and continue to roast until done.
3. When the veggies are soft, transfer them to a large pot and let them cool down.
4. Cover the veggies with water and blend them using a hand-blender until smooth.
5. If you don’t have a blender, cook the roasted vegetables in the water for 10-12 minutes before using a potato masher to purée them . Expect a slightly chunky soup as a result but it will still be tasty. If you are really pedantic, you can pass the mash through a sieve but you might loose some good nutrients and fibre that way.
6. Add salt and ras-el-hanout to the soup, place it on the stove and bring the soup to a boil.
7. Serve while warm with a warmed loaf of bread. I served it with some fresh Irish soda bread (White soda bread recipe under http://www.sodabread.info/Recipes/sodabreadrecipes.htm).