Roasted Vegetable Soup With Kale

soup pot

When I first saw this recipe, I groaned.  Until I made this, I treated my soup pot a lot like my Crock-Pot - it was for dump-n-go meals.   No browning, no pre-cooking the ingredients.  Puleez.  But for whatever reason (not enough to do with my time?  nope, that's not it.) I decided to try this crazy roasting the veggies thing, and let me tell you, it's worth it.  Not in a "I will never again eat soup with veggies that aren't pre-roasted" kinda way, but so good that I don't begrudge the effort. 

This recipe is ripe for customization - add whatever you have kicking around your fridge - winter CSA time is coming, along with a deluge of root veggies.  Parsnips? Check!  Turnip?  Sure!  Kohlrabi?  Delicious.  Toss 'em in there and turn your family onto a warm, veggie-licious winter meal (or several!).

Roasted Vegetable Soup With Kale (adapted from Simply Recipes)

3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered lenthwise
2 large onions, cut into wedges
1/2 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 box (28 oz.) of chopped tomatoes with their juice (such as Pomi), or more to taste
6 garlic cloves, peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
6 cups or more of low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 large bunch roughly chopped kale
3 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 (15 oz.) cans of Great Northern white beans, drained

 

Preheat oven to 400°. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Arrange the squash in a single layer on one sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir gently to coat.  Add the carrots, onion, and garlic to the other sheet. Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast vegetables until they are brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Cut the carrots into 1/2 inch pieces; set aside. Place the garlic cloves and the onion in a food processor; puree until almost smooth. Transfer broth and vegetable puree to large pot. Add 5 1/2 cups broth, kale, thyme and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes.

Add the carrots, beans, and squash to soup. Simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

Serves six.  This can be made a day ahead of time, and in fact, I think it's better left over!