Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Roasted Veggie Soup aka Refrigerator Soup

So...Refrigerator Soup may not be the most mouthwatering description of this recipe, but it's certainly the most accurate. Every few weeks, you probably end up throwing out a bunch of produce from the bottom of your fridge because the lettuce is wilted or your tomatoes got so bruised that the idea of eating them fresh makes you gag. Fine. I get that. But, I promise that with a little tender love and care, those neglected bits of leftover veggies can become something incredibly tasty!

With this recipe, high heat is your friend Roasting vegetables (or anything for that matter) really concentrates flavor. All the browned bits taste carmelized and even more savory at the same time. It's one of the rules drilled into us at culinary school. "Browning equals flavour!" I can hear Mr. RICCOMINI saying it now!
The higher and more direct heat the better. I don't have a broiler, but if I did, I'd use that.  Your oven will work just fine though so don't fret.
I learned this method fro working in restaurant after restaurant. You think your favorite five star eatery throws out hundreds of dollars in quality produce every week just because It's a little past It's prime? Nope. You're eating that produce in the soup of the day!
And be honest, it's your favorite soup, isn't it?

It's also worth mentioning that, in addition to being very very delicious and easy, my Roasted Veggie Soup is also completely vegan! How fun.

Roasted Veggie Soup aka Refrigerator Soup

Approx. 3 cups of chopped assorted veggies
(I used 5 medium brown mushrooms, half a small potato, 1 tomato, 2 romaine lettuce cores, a nub of carrot,  onion and celery)
4 cups water or organic vegetable broth

Coat your veggies with good olive oil and place in a cast iron pot. Roast veggies in a 450 degree oven until the veggies are a deep golden brown. Do not burn. This took me about 20 minutes. Remove and immediately add water or broth, scraping the bottom of the pan, releasing delicious browned bits. At this point you can either cool and blend in your blender, or simply use an immersion blender and puree right in the pot**. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve with chopped fresh herbs and garlic croutons.

** I don't strain my vegetable soup, personally I like the texture and all the added fiber. However if you decide to strain it, do so using a china cap or cheese cloth for a silkier soup.

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