I discovered this soup quite by accident. You see, the only thing about getting a weekly organic vegetable box (similar to a CSA box) is that sometimes you end up with vegetables left over at the end of the week. I always like to finish them up before the next box comes, and after making the ‘bottom of the fridge stir fry’ the next logical port of call is soup. But sometimes I just don’t feel like (or have time for) simmering vegetables for ages to make it. So when I had some butternut squash left over the other week, I ruled out the idea of soup, and just quartered it, took the seeds out and roasted it. I then put it in the fridge to use ‘later’.
Well, later never really came, and I didn’t want to waste the squash, which was by now feeling a bit sorry for itself. As was I actually, as I was having a very busy and kind of stressful day and needed nothing more than a nice bowl of soup and crackers to make me feel better. Suddenly the penny dropped, and I had an idea. What if I scooped the roasted squash out of it’s skin and pureed it with some stock? Then all I would have to do is heat it through and voila, soup.
Well, it worked! I scooped the squash out first and put it in the blender (you could also use a hand blender) and then just slowly added vegetable stock to get it to the right consistency. You could add some milk, cream or half and half as well if you wanted to make a creamier soup. I then just heated it through (I confess I did this in the microwave, but obviously you could heat it on the stove top!) I stirred a small grating of nutmeg through it and had a gorgeous and comforting lunch just like that! The next time I made it, I left out the nutmeg and sprinkled chives on top. I’m not sure which version I liked the best!
By the way, I would love to say I had homemade vegetable stock on hand but I used packaged and it tasted absolutely fine. Obviously, homemade is the best option, but there are some very good ready made stocks out there today. Just check the ingredients to make sure there isn’t too much salt or too many preservative nasties in it. I can actually buy organic stock cubes now too, which are really very good in a stock emergency.
So I got to thinking, I could probably do this with other roasted vegetables too....and the next time I made roasted root vegetables (carrots and parsnips) I made extra so there would be leftovers. I gave them the same treatment, only this time I added a pinch of curry powder, and I had another delicious soup on my hands.
I’m so excited about this, as not only does it give me virtually ‘instant’ soup (it’s not much harder than making cup a soup if you already have stock on hand!) and it is a fantastic way to use up your leftovers. Seriously, give this a try with any vegetable you can roast. Roast baby potatoes and leeks, any kind of squash, parsnips and/or carrots, turnips - the possibilities are endless.
Healthy, frugal, comforting roasted vegetable soup that helps you use up leftovers - it really does tick all the boxes!