Now that the seasons have changed, it’s time for cozy-weather vegetables and dishes. First among them, of course, is soup, which harnesses magical powers. When the temperatures dip, soup is there with plenty of warm and comforting goodness in every spoonful. But you don’t need a complicated recipe, or cans of stuff from the grocery store. Fall is full of fantastic produce that’s easy to turn into soup at home. Just use this easy-to-remember no-recipe formula.
Get seasonal produce.
Let’s start by picking some fall produce. A quick lap around the farmers market will show you plenty that’s in season: Butternut squash has sweet potatoes vibes, with subtle sweetness that blends beautifully. You can also opt for acorn squash, delicata squash, and pumpkin. Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets, broccoli, carrots, fennel, kohlrabi, and parsnips are other fine choices. If you are lucky, beefsteak tomatoes may still be in season and you can catch the last haul of the juicy and plump umami-flavored wonders.
Prep it for roasting.
The first key to turning your fall produce into soup is roasting your vegetables. After you have chosen your veggies, grab a sheet pan and line it with foil or parchment paper. Roasting does two things: softens the produce and brings out the natural sweetness through caramelization. Preheat your oven to between 375°F to 400°F. Toss four cups of chopped vegetables in a generous coat of oil, about 1/3 cup. Season with salt to taste and black pepper for spice.
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Add flavor and roast.
It’s easy to amp up the roasting process by adding a few aromatic herbs (thyme and rosemary are my personal favorites) to the vegetables, as well as putting alliums such as onions or shallots onto the tray. If you want a more intense flavor, go ahead and add a few garlic cloves as well. Then pop your vegetables in the oven and roast until soft and golden. Each vegetable will have a varied cooking time, but on average, 20 to 25 minutes usually does the trick.
Warm some liquid.
The smell of the roasted produce will start to fill your kitchen, giving you an indication that they’re ready. Let the vegetables cool a bit (until warm — just not burning hot to the touch). Next, you’ll need a tasty liquid. For a creamy soup, use heavy cream, half-and-half, or milk. For a less creamy soup, use broth (such as chicken, beef, or vegetable) or a non-dairy alternative such as coconut milk or almond milk. Then heat 1 1/2 to 2 cups of your liquid in a saucepan to a gentle simmer. Now let’s make soup!
Combine and blend.
Pull out your handy high-powdered blender, put the roasted veggies in, and then begin blending while adding some of the warm liquid. The best way to blend hot items is to remove the small opening in the lid and cover it with a kitchen rag. This lets the hot steam release, so it doesn’t build up and blow the top off. Blend until everything is smooth and velvety. Taste and adjust: If it’s too bland, add a little salt. If it’s too salty or thick, add cooking liquid. When it’s done, pour the soup straight from your blender right into your bowl and it’s ready to enjoy!
Trust me, you will be blown away by how easy and quick it is to whip together a batch of fall-inspired soup with fresh roasted vegetables. You can experiment with flavors by mixing and matching your vegetables and cooking liquids. This is the perfect formula for a successful soup any day of the week all fall and winter long.
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