Recipe: Three Roasted Vegetable Soups

Three recipes in one post today, because it’s the same (very easy!) method, but with markedly different flavours.  I’ve given recipes for a very simple but delicious pumpkin soup, a subtly perfumed beetroot soup and a creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup, but you could use this method to make a soup out of any root vegetable you liked (though you would need to change the roasting times and the seasoning accordingly).  Myself, I think it’s crying out for a good sweet-spicy roast carrot incarnation, perhaps with maple syrup and ginger, but three soups is enough for one evening!  Don’t be tempted to buy stock.  The stock recipe below takes all of 5 minutes of hands-on cooking time and it will taste far better than anything you could buy at the supermarket.  And your soups deserve a good stock.  Trust me.

Roast Pumpkin Soup

Your Shopping List…

olive oil
800g pumpkin (buy 1kg, because you’ll lose some of the weight in seeds and skin)
2 brown onions
rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper

1 large carrot
1 large onion
2 celery sticks
2 roma tomatoes
5 large sprigs of parsley.  Or more.
1 bay leaf
1 sage leaf
1 small sprig rosemary
pinch of saffron

Now what will you do with it?

Chop the pumpkin into chunks, and chop two of the onions into half moons.  Put them into a baking tray that is large enough to hold them all in one layer, and sprinkle with a little rosemary and / or sage, salt, pepper, sliced garlic, and some olive oil.  Mix around a bit, then roast in an oven heated to 200°C for about 40 minutes or until soft, turning once or twice during cooking.

Meanwhile, make the stock.  Peel and halve the carrot and the onion, and halve the tomatoes and celery sticks.  Put them all into a large put with the parsley, bay, rosemary, sage, saffron, salt and pepper (and do feel free to add or subtract herbs or vegetables according to your personal preference), pour in 2 litres of water and bring to the boil.

Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let simmer until the pumpkin has finished roasting, then switch off the heat and strain the stock.

Put the roast vegetables into a blender with about 3 cups of the stock – the amount is really dependent on how thick you like your soup, so it can be more or less than this.  Blend.  Taste and add any seasonings.  Reheat gently and serve.

The rest of your stock will freeze beautifully or will sit in the fridge happily for several days, and will improve your next risotto, soup or stew immeasurably.

Roast Beetroot Soup

Completely gratuitous stripy chiroggia beetroot.

Bright yellow beetroot. Also gratuitous.

Your Shopping List…

olive oil
800g beetroot (despite the pictures above, this recipe works best with ordinary dark red beetroot.  But I urge you to use oddly-coloured vegetables on any occasion you can think of!)
1 brown onion
1/2 tsp coriander seed
1/4 tsp each dried tarragon and
dried mint
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 – 1 tsp orange flower
water (optional)
salt, pepper
Stock ingredients are the same as for Pumpkin Soup

Now what will you do with it?

Line your baking tray with foil.  Peel the beetroot and cut it into chunks.  Slice the onion into half moons.  Put the vegetables in the baking tray with oil, coriander seed, herbs, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss, cover with foil and bake at 200°C for about an hour.  You should probably check and turn the beetroot once or twice during this time.

Make the stock exactly as you would for the pumpkin soup (or use the leftover stock!).  When the beetroot is cooked through, carefully tip the vegetables and their juices into the blender, add 2 cups of stock and the orange flower water, if using.  Blend, reheat, serve.  Incidentally, if you are using a stick blender and do not want to end up with soup on the floor, walls, ceiling, stove, your face and everything you are wearing, I recommend making sure the blender part is completely immersed in the liquid.  And yes, I  learned this the hard way.

I do recommend the orange-flower water, by the way – it complements the sweet earthiness of the beetroot, and gives it a faintly middle-eastern flavour.  But go gently when adding it – this is definitely a less-is-more sort of ingredient.

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Your Shopping List…

olive oil
1.6 kg Jerusalem artichokes
1 brown onion or a handful of shallots (the french kind that look like tiny onions)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 sprig rosemary
salt, pepper
juice of 1 lemon
Stock ingredients are the same as for Pumpkin Soup

Now what will you do with it?

Scrub Jerusalem artichokes very well and cut into large chunks of roughly similar sizes.  Put in a baking tray with the rosemary (strip off the leaves and scatter among the vegetables), olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake at 200°C for about half an hour, or until very soft, adding the lemon after about 20 minutes.

Make the stock exactly as above, or use leftover stock from the previous recipe.  You’ll need about 3 cups.

Press the Jerusalem artichokes through a sieve to remove the skins – basically, put them in the sieve skin-side up and press them through with a spoon or your fingers.  You’ll need to do this one or two pieces at a time and remove the skins from the sieve as you go.  This is fiddly, but it doesn’t actually take as long as you might think, and it’s quite satisfying.

Put the puréed artichokes in a blender with two cups of the stock and the roasted onions, and blend until smooth.  Add more stock until you get a consistency you like, then season and reheat to serve.   I tend to think of this as a dinner party dish, because it’s a little more work and because the soup is very delicate and creamy (you don’t actually need to add cream – the texture is perfect as it is).

This photo doesn’t really do it justice, though it does have a sort of 1970s charm.  It does taste gorgeous, though.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

12 comments for “Recipe: Three Roasted Vegetable Soups

  1. May 18, 2011 at 11:56 pm


    Now I want to eat yummy autumnal soups…and it’s (finally) spring up here.

    I shall certainly be making this come fall.

    • May 19, 2011 at 8:11 am

      See, this is why you need to visit Australia again!!

      (and this is exactly how I feel about all the asparagus recipes turning up on food blogs right now…)

      • October 28, 2011 at 4:52 am


        I made this recipe this morning and while everything smelled wonderful as I was cooking, when I tasted the soup it was bitter — so much that it’s inedible. Do you have ideas I could try to rescue it? (It’s in a container in my fridge in the hopes that sometime can be done.) Maybe I picked a bad pumpkin?

    • October 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

      (Replying up here because wordpress won’t let me have more than three comments in a conversation)

      Oh no! I wonder if American pumpkins have different properties to Australian ones? I know we have different varieties. Though I’d expect that if they roast well in general they would be fine in this soup.

      As for rescuing it… I’m not sure I can help that much except to say that I don’t recommend making a non-bitter batch and mixing it with the bitter batch, because all that does is make both batches awful – I made one batch of beetroot soup which was inedibly bitter (I strongly suspect a bad bunch of beetroot here, because my method was identical) and made the mistake of adding one of my good batches to it. Which was a terrible waste of beetroot. You could try adding a little brown sugar into it when you re-heat it, but I honestly don’t know how well that would work.

      I suspect you just had Evil Pumpkin issues, because I’ve made the pumpkin soup many times and with several different varieties of pumpkin and sweet potato and never had this problem. And even roasting pumpkins too long and getting them blacker than you meant to should not cause this problem unless they are verging on charcoal!


      • October 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

        I really do think that I managed to get an Evil Pumpkin.

        I reheated some of the soup with brown sugar, and the taste now starts out sweet then hits you with a horribly bitter aftertaste.

        We do have a few varieties of pumpkin, which is why I’m laughing, as I purposefully waited to make this soup until I could find a “sweet” pumpkin, which it what’s used for cooking pies and soups, rather than the more readily available pumpkins that we use for jack o’lanterns (though some people do use for cooking, too).

        The stock, at least, is glorious. I’ve frozen the leftovers and will be trying either another batch of pumpkin (though I’ll look for another source — maybe the farmer’s market) or the beetroot version of the recipe next week, when I have a chance to cook again. (The problem with my newly developed social life is that I’m never home.)

        I’ll keep you posted on the further attempts!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.