Vegetable medley soup (a.k.a. "use vegetables you have in the fridge" soup)
- 2 carrots (not small)
- a parsnip
- a large leek, white and light green portion (keep the dark green leaves to make vegetable stock)
- a yacon
- a celery root (or half, if it is gigantic like the one I had)
- olive oil
- 6-8 oz cipollini onion or other sweet onion (I used 3/4 of a very large cipollini onion)
- 1 large or 2 small celery ribs (including leaves, if present)
- 1 teaspoon groud cumin (possibly from freshly toasted and ground seeds)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
- water as needed to bring the soup to desired consistency
- 10 leaves of baby chard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Total time: 1 hour 50 min
Wash carefully, peel as needed, and cut into chunks the first five vegetables in the list above (the leek into one-inch slices). Spray with olive oil and toss lightly. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat and roast for 40 minutes at 375 F, stirring them twice during the baking period.
In the meantime, warm up some olive oil in a soup pot and add onion and celery, chopped. After 3-4 minutes, cover the pot and let the vegetables cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cut away the stem and a bit of the center rib from the chard leaves and chop them. Slice the leaves into ribbons and set aside.
Back to the soup pot: add cumin and paprika to onion and celery, stir, then add the roasted vegetables, chard stems, stock and water to cover everything. cover, bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are soft, half an hour, possibly more. Purée with an immersion blender. Add more water, if needed, to make the soup reached the desired consistency. Add the chard ribbons to the soup, and cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
Serve hot by itself or accompanied by cooked hulless barley or another cooked grain you like, or a slice of homemade bread. You can top the soup with freshly grated or crumbled cheese, chopped toasted walnuts or toasted sliced almonds.