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Friday, October 29, 2010

SENSATIONAL soup!!!! Seriously!!! MMM!

Perhaps the cooler autumn weather has turned me into a serious soup-maker....or perhaps it's the baby in my tummy and excess hormones that have caused me to crave serious good-for-the-mind-body-soul soups but either way, I am LOVING soups right now....not can soup! Seriously a no-go for me! Since I started making our family favourite lentil stew and other delicious soups, I can't even look at a can of soup!!! Yes the prep can take time but the outcome is incredible and will have you hooked on making your own soups! The beauty about soup is you really can be so creative and have fantastic outcomes! Once the soup is cooking and the veggies are cut, you can move onto the next thing!

So last night I embarked on a new soup-making adventure! I decided to make the Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Cookbook. The only thing that I would slightly change would be the title because for us Canadians, the veggies involved are in season and I bought all of my veggies local too so I would re-name this recipe to Roasted Autumn Veggie Soup!!!! But seriously, that's just a fussy-petty silly unimportant minor detail!!! This may just be the best soup that I have EVER had!

When I first read the method to make this soup (roasting veggies first), I was a little wary and worried that it would be too time-consuming...on the contrary I learned! While the veggies were roasting I had time to run Noah and our dog to return a movie that was due-back (BONUS: I got a nice 20 minute run in), and was able to wash dishes from the prep-work and then Noah and I started making cookies!!! It was amazing! Once the veggies are roasted, the soup takes MINUTES!!! The outcome is heavenly! So please, try this recipe! I wish I could take credit but really I'm just passing on an incredible recipe from Tosca Reno (she's pretty sweet)....so here it is! ENJOY!

Tosca Reno's Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup:

2 sweet potatoes
1 large squash (I used kombucha squash - my current favourite)
3 large purple onions (I used yellow onions accidentally because I am so used to using yellow when making soups/stews)!
2 full heads of garlic, trimmed, but left intact
3 tbsp. of best-quality olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. of coconut butter (I used coconut oil)
1 tsp. of sea salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
several sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp. of fresh thyme
1.5L of low-sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. of white vinegar (I didn't have white so I used balsamic vinegar)
2 Tbsp. of pure maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 400'F for roasting. Place the racks to allow space for the garlic and onions to sit on the top rack and the squash and sweet potatoes to sit on the bottom rack.

2. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.

3. Scrub the sweet potatoes, trimming any strings but otherwise leaving them intact. Prick in a few places with a fork. Set aside.

4. Split the squash in half with a heavy kitchen knife. Remove the seeds and string. (You can save the seeds for roasting at a different time if you wish-a yummy and nutritious snack)! With a fork, prick the rind of the squash in several places to allow for more even baking.

5. Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Place the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet with the squash and put in the oven. Bake for one hour or until a knife inserted into the squash pierces easily. Check the oven during the last 15 minutes of baking in case the vegetables cook too quickly.

6. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

7. While the squash and sweet potatoes are cooking, peel and chop the onions in large chunks and place in a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat the onions in the oil. Spread the onions on the baking sheet.

8. Prepare the garlic. Remove the papery skins and remove top points from the garlic head with a sharp knife. Drizzle remaining olive oil over each bulb. Wrap in tin foil and place on a baking sheet with onions. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, checking carefully to make sure the onions don't burn. At this point turn the onions over, distribute the fresh herbs over top and return to the oven to continue baking for another 15 minutes or so.

9. Remove from heat and let cool. Keep the garlic tightly wrapped so it continues to soften.

10. Place the coconut oil into a large pot at a low-medium heat setting. Scoop the cooled flesh out of the baked squash and add to the pot. Remove the peel from the sweet potatoes and place the flesh in the pot with the squash (I wasn't super careful and didn't mind putting some skin into the pot since the skin has great nutritional value too)! Add the onions with herb remnants to the pot (removing any charred onions). Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the softened garlic into the pot. Add the veggie stock, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and, with an immersion blender, puree the mixture (I didn't have this so I scooped the contents bit by bit to our food processor and pureed the mixture in there)...Serve hot!

I hope you love this soup as much as Dan and I do!!!! We are officially hooked!!! I can't think of a better warm and nourishing meal to curl up with on a cold day!!! I really hope you enjoy this!!!

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