This is a staple at our house once the weather starts to get colder and the vegetables from the garden start to take over the house. Currently we are overrun with carrots and squash so it must be time for soup.
First things first we need to make the stock. I like to have some made ahead but lately I’m just not that organized. We avoid store bought stock for a few reasons; BPA in cans, high levels of sodium especially for the baby, and all vegetable stock seems to have soy, which we just can’t have. Stock is so easy to make that there’s really no need for the prepared stuff anyway.
Fill a big pot ¾ full of cold tap water
Add 1 carrot cut lengthwise
4 stocks of celery, the more leaves the better*
2 peeled onions
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Let the water reach a boil then turn down to a simmer for about an hour. Once everything is soft and the stock has a nice colour, strain out veggies.
*We like to use organic celery. It tastes better and it’s the number one food on the dirty dozen; the EWG’s list of foods with the highest levels of pesticides and therefore the most important foods to buy organic.
If I haven’t prepared the stock ahead of time I start roasting the veggies as the stock simmers. They will be finished at about the same time.
Roast your veggies on the barbeque:
Roast together with a pinch of salt and a liberal amount of olive oil:
A handful of orange carrots
A handful of yellow carrots
2 red onions
A handful of tomatoes
Normally I would use one squash, but this time I used 3; 2 Waltham Butternut and 1 Royal Acorn. We officially have too many squash. I normally would never use this much, but we need to use them up and we have a lot of people to feed this weekend.
Sprinkle each half with brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
Put 1 clove of garlic in each cavity.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Grill veggies at 400° for 45 minutes and squash for 1 hour.
Make the soup:
Scoop out the squash into your pot of stock. Add your veggies. Add a chopped up potato for each person. Bring back to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend the soup:
An immersion blender would work best, but since I don’t have one I whizz it up in the food processor in a few batches. Generally we continue to cook it for at least 20 minutes, or until its time to eat, once the soup has been blended.
Garnish with a nasturtium or some chives and serve with a nice piece of bread (like Ace Bakery’s Rosemary Focaccia) with too much butter.