Have some veggies lolling in your fridge, perhaps the result of an overzealous end-of-season farmers' market run? Does the idea of cooking all of them before they go bad...but within the constraints of your hectic schedule...fill you with apprehension?
I'm certainly guilty. Don't worry, though. This simple, velvety soup will take care of everything. That and a little meal-planning...
Since J is back in school, I've started adhering to a strict "Sunday afternoons are for shopping and cooking" regimen. I fill the fridge with casseroles and soup, bake some muffins and fruit leather, and pick up some apples and granola bars at the store. I'll fall off the bandwagon eventually, but right now it's keeping us full and productive.
This sexy, magnificent soup recipe comes from a dear friend in Seattle (who is quick to remind me that she's really a Texan). When she first made it for us, my feelings toward eggplant and immersion blenders were immediately reformed.
If I knew the foggiest thing about fine dining, I'd say it would probably be pretty good daubed across a plate with a...roasted squab or some other fancy protein on top. My husband dipped a tuna melt in his before running back to the computer lab, which is more our style.
The method is simple: for approximately four starter-sized bowls of sexy roasted vegetable puree, you'll need about 2 lbs. of veggies, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add a splash of cream or coconut milk at the end if it feels right.
Use whatever veggies you have on hand. These are some of my favorite combinations:
Midsummer: About 2 c. corn kernels, 1 c. cherry tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1 onion, chipotle powder.
Late Summer (pictured): 1 eggplant, 4 Roma tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1 onion.
Fall: Cubed sweet potato or butternut squash, 1 onion, 1 apple, sage, and a generous pour of cream.
Sexy Roasted Vegetable Puree, with Infinite Variations
Ingredients:About 2 lbs. vegetables, sliced up for roasting (1" cubes for root veggies; halve tomatoes, peppers, & eggplant; quarter onions; leave garlic whole and unpeeled)
salt & pepper (plus herbs or spices of your choice, if you want)
Method:1. Preheat oven to 425F, and cover a 10" x 15" pan with foil. As you chop up your veggies, arrange them in a single layer on the pan. You'll want it full, but not packed. Once you run out of room (or vegetables), drizzle everything with a few Tbsp. of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. If you want to add herbs or spices, sprinkle them on now.
2. Roast for about 45 minutes, checking for doneness at about the 30 minute mark. When everything is tender and browned, remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes.Peel blistered skins off vegetables, if you've roasted tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions, or garlic.
3. Using either an immersion blender, standard blender, or food processor, process vegetables into a puree. Taste, and drizzle with another Tbsp. or two of olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Pour in a splash of cream or coconut milk if you like.
4. Rewarm in a saucepan on the stove if necessary and enjoy!
Yield: 4 starter servings or 2 mains.