This soup represents everything that is good about the world.
I started thinking about this soup last week when I was feeling a little under the weather. (Which also got me thinking about where that phrase comes from, and wondering if now that I am better I am technically feeling ‘above the weather’). I wanted something that said comfort and soothing without a being too aggressive or overpowering. This soup literally tastes like healing. Think the adult version of ramen meetings the vegetarian version of chicken soup. The broth is rich and goes straight to your soul. The roasted vegetables add flavor, texture, and sweetness. (Not to mention a million and one health benefits). The lima beans add a buttery, smooth taste and give the soup a little more oomph. Basically… what you see is what you get. Just farm vegetables, whole beans, and fresh herbs. It’s the perfect compliment to a winter day, new years diet, or nagging cold.
In fact… I have a friend who is feeling less than 100%. I packed him some soup. This was the picture I got back:
2. Easy and Versatile.
Let me break it down for you: Chop some vegetables. Put them in a pot. Add some water. […] That’s it. No secrets or tricks, no fancy terms or special techniques. I don’t even own a peeler and it still only took me 15 minutes to prepare my vegetables. It’s literally that easy. And it always works, which means that you can use (or not use) any vegetables, beans, or herbs you have on hand and it will still be good. Not into parsnips? Don’t use them. More of a thyme than rosemary person? Go for it! Out of lima beans? Toss some lentils or kidneys (beans that is) in there! Take this soup as your zero-risk opportunity to flex your culinary muscles.
3. Cook Once, Eat … A lot.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they ‘don’t have time’ to cook, I would definitely own a peeler. (And blender, food processor, Mix Master, and more specialty pans than Martha Stewart). This soup is the perfect example of a way to minimize your time in kitchen while maximizing your home-cooked food yield. First of all… you’re roasting the vegetables, which means that for no extra time or effort, I was able to make to fill a whole Tupperware container with extras for salad, sides, or snacks. Second, it’s makes an entire pot of soup, which automatically means that you have at least 4 dinners or lunches for the days coming.
If this picture doesn’t make you excited to roast vegetables… I’m not really sure what to tell you.
4. Save Money, Support Farmers.
God bless the farmers. They are the only people (besides the postal service) who never let the weather stand in their way. Even on the coldest, darkest, dreariest of winter days they are there braving the frontier to make sure that I have fresh produce for the week ahead. Not only that, but they are also saved me some serious dollars. All the ingredients for this soup cost me less than ten dollars, including the extra vegetables that I already roasted and a few carrots and sweet potatoes leftover for other culinary endeavors.
Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup
1 large parsnip, peeled and cubed (1 c.)
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (2 c)
2 LARGE carrots, peeled and sliced ( 1 ish c.)
4 small celery roots, peeled and diced (1/2 c. )
1 small onion, diced (TJ’s Mirepoix Mix)
½ c. celery, finely minced (also from TJ’s Mirepoix Mix)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 T. Herbs de Provence
1 bay leaf
1 c. dried Baby Lima Beans (or beans of your choice)
6 cups of vegetable stock (or water)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare all your vegetables. [I tried to cut mine into different shapes (cubes, moons, rounds) just to spice things up. Again, feel free whatever vegetables / ratio of vegetables you want].
Toss all the veggies in a large baking dish with 1 T. olive oil, half the rosemary and herbs, and a good dose of salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove from the oven when slightly soft. Avoid snacking on it all.
Meanwhile, get your soup base going. Heat a large (dry!) pot over medium heat and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the celery and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another minute or so until fragrant.
Add the beans, broth, and the rest of the herbs. Bring to a boil, reduce, cover, and simmer for about an hour. (I didn’t actually realize how long baby lima beans took to get soft… other beans cook much faster). Keep checking back to add more water if necessary.
When the beans are fairly soft, add your roasted veggies to the soup. I added about half of what I made, but you can eyeball it until you have the soup-to-veggie ratio that suits you. Adjust the seasoning to your taste and simmer until the beans are tender.
Bye-Bye Winter Blues!