By Mark Mulcahy
Sometimes, something as simple as a little soup can make a day just that much better. Warm, comforting, and great alone or as a wonderful accompaniment to almost any meal - you really can’t go wrong with this liquid comfort food.
Recently I had my day made by two amazing soups that I’d love to share, to make your holidays just a little better.
Both are fairly simple and made using roasted Melissa’s organic veggies
. Roasting brings out the all of the natural flavors and sugars that will have you coming back for more.
The first one comes from Fine Cooking
Roasted Carrot Soup
1 pound Melissa’s Organic Carrots
, peeled and cut into 3 inch lengths
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
½ Melissa’s Organic Medium Onion
, cut into medium dice (to yield about ¾ cup)
1 large rib Melissa’s Organic Celery
, cut into medium dice (to yield about ½ cup)
1 Tablespoon minced fresh Ginger
(from about ½ inch piece, peeled)
2 cups Homemade or Low-Salt Chicken Broth (I used organic vegetable broth)
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/8 teaspoon Ground White Pepper
Chopped fresh Chives
for garnish (optional)
Heat the oven to 375°F.
Put the carrots in a medium baking dish (11x7 inch is a good size, or any dish that will hold the carrots in a single layer without touching) and drizzle them with the olive oil. Toss them to coat well and roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until they’re tender, blistered, and lightly browned in a few places, about 1 hour.
Melt the butter in a medium (at least 3-quart) heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the celery and ginger and cook until the celery softens a bit and the onions start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the roasted carrots, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and cover. Cook at a lively simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the liquid cool somewhat (or completely).
Purée the soup in a blender in batches, never filling the blender more than a third full, and bearing down firmly on the towel-covered lid so the soup doesn’t come flying out. If serving immediately, return the soup to the pot and reheat; (I added a drizzle of coconut milk on top - mm-mm!) Garnish with the chives or chervil if you like. Otherwise, refrigerate for up to five days; reheat gently and taste for salt before serving.
The second soup also ties in with veggies that are abundant this time of year, and are usually at their best value in your favorite store. I got this one from The Impleveganista Blogspot
and I think you will love it!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 Melissa’s Organic Butternut Squash
, peeled, seeded and cubed into 3/4' inch pieces (approx. 4 cups)
3 Garlic Cloves
2 small Shallots
or ½ Sweet Onion
, peeled and halved
1 Tablespoon Olive or Coconut Oil
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
2½ cups Water or Vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Prepare vegetables, and then toss with olive oil right on the roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, cooking until squash is fork tender. Remove any onion or garlic that seem to be over roasted and set aside. Once done, remove and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place squash and shallots in blender/food processor and blend until creamy. In a large pot, place blended mix and add water and salt. Cook on medium low until heated through adding more liquid as needed and taste for seasoning.
Again, this can be garnished with coconut milk and toasted pumpkin seeds for a soup that will surely become a family favorite.
Serves 2 - 3.