Here is one of my favorite fall and winter soup recipes.  I started making this soup years ago when I had left over roasted vegetables after cooking a leg of lamb or roast beef.  Now, I don’t wait until I make a roast I just do the vegetables separately and come up with a thick, low calorie, satisfying soup.  Again, you will see my proportions are not exact so you can lean towards your families most favorite vegetables.  It is just a matter of roasting well-seasoned root vegetables, puréeing and adding enough liquid to make a rich soup.

ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP

1-small butternut squash OR turnip, peeled
1-large sweet onion and/or a large leek
4 to 6-large carrots
2-medium potatoes
2-parsnips
4 to 5- cloves garlic, peeled
1-Tablespoon sugar
3-teaspoons dried thyme AND/OR rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream or thick Greek yogurt (optional)
Chicken, vegetable broth, light cream or water.  Have enough on hand to thin the cooked vegetables to a soup consistency.  Approximately 4-6 cups of liquid.

Peel and cut all your vegetables into 2-inch pieces.  Any combination will do but you should have at least 4-6 cups when all cut up.  Line a large roasting pan with foil and coat lightly with olive oil.  Spread out the cut vegetables and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, sugar, rosemary, thyme and additional olive oil until they are evenly coated.  Roast in a 400º oven for 45-55 minutes stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft and slightly browned.
Remove from oven and place batches in a blender or processor and purée. Put the puréed vegetables into a pot and add the desired amount of liquid.  I usually puree them in my soup pot with a hand-held immersion blender adding a little cream at first and then finish off with chicken broth or water. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream.  This amount should serve 8-10.  Leftovers may be refrigerated or frozen.
Are you the mood for a nice thick satisfying soup?  I put this together over the weekend and it was a big hit.  I had a bag of peeled carrots leftover from the holidays and I felt like some soup.  This recipe makes enough for six to eight but it freezes well if you do not need that amount.  I do use heavy cream but it is not necessary if you want to cut calories.  The second time I made this I had some left over mashed sweet potatoes (about a cup) that I added.  I also added a squeeze of lemon juice. You will find that this simple addition really perks up the flavor of almost any recipe.  A dash of curry powder is another nice addition.

EASY CARROT SOUP

2-cans of chicken broth (low sodium is fine)
2-pound bag of peeled and cut carrots
1-cup heavy cream
1-cup milk
1-cup white cheddar cheese, grated (about 4 ounces)
Generous squeeze of lemon or limejuice
1-teaspoon black pepper

In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot cook the carrots with the chicken broth until fork tender, about 30 minutes.  Puree the cooked carrots and cooking liquid in a blender, in batches if necessary.  I find the blender or an immersion blender to do a better job at this then the food processor.  Return to the pot and add the cream, milk, grated cheddar, black pepper and lemon juice.  Heat until the cheese has melted.  If your soup is too thick, just add a little more liquid.  You can also serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream for added richness.  Serves 6-8
When one of my boys was little and went to visit my mother, grandma would always make him “The Pancake”.  He loved looking through the oven door seeing the pancake mixture rise high above the rim of her well-seasoned cast iron pan and get golden brown.  She would serve it to him with maple syrup or just powdered sugar.  Many years have passed and when I go and visit my son he makes ME “The Pancake”.  In different parts of the country I understand this is called a Dutch Baby.  It is just a glorified popover but made in one pan coming out of the oven it is spectacular.  Here is Thomas’s recipe; he says some people top it with powdered sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, I prefer the maple syrup.

THE PANCAKE


3 eggs
3/4-cup all-purpose flour
3/4-cup whole milk
1/2-stick of butter
Dash of salt




This recipe works well baked in a cast iron pan but a 9-10 inch cake pan or casserole dish will also work.  Preheat the oven along with the empty cast iron pan to 425°.  While the pan and oven are heating up, mix/beat flour, salt, eggs and milk.  Slice the butter into small pieces and add to the preheated cast iron pan.  Return the pan to the oven until the butter has melted BUT watch that the butter does not burn.  Once the butter is melted, add pancake mixture in a swirling motion starting on the edge and working to the middle.  Bake until risen and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  This should be eaten right away.  Serves 4
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  • ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP
  • EASY CARROT SOUP
  • THE PANCAKE