Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup with Guanciale and Celery Salad Topping

First featured on Clemson Area Food Exchange newsletter
Recipe and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms, Edited and words by Ellie Sharp

Ready for another super easy, super versatile and super delicious recipe? Keep on reading! I love roasted turnips: the cooking process brings out the sweetness of this misunderstood root veggie and makes them approachable for those who shy away. That said, turnips do tend to have a “love ‘em or hate ‘em” reputation, so I wanted to make something that would be appealing to fans and could-be fans alike. Soup seemed a natural place to start with its cozy vibe well-suited for our current cold temperatures.

But, how could I make unconvinced turnip eaters more interested? Enter the ever-popular garden darlings: potatoes and carrots. By pureeing and blending the turnips with these beloved add-ins, you get the best of both worlds: full, rich flavor without the pronounced turnip twang. Win!

If you’re still unsure, let me give you a little firm-but-polite nudge. Put your support-the-farmers-money-where-your-mouth-is, step outside your comfort zone and bring a variety of vegetables and meat cuts into your home. Buy the turnips, grab and cure the pork jowl and let’s get these overlooked items onto your plate! 

Pro tip: Save all your resulting veggie peelings to make stock. Keep a freezer bag in your freezer and add onion, carrot and celery peelings/ends until it’s full. Mushroom stems, some potato peelings and herbs stems are other great additions, but steer clear of brassica items (cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc.). Once the bag is full, add to a large pot or stock pot with leftover bones, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer on low for three to four hours (or longer if you wish). Add water as needed to keep ingredients covered while they cook. Strain and enjoy!

2 turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 pounds carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion or several small, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, leaves removed and saved, cut into large chunks
2 heads of garlic
1 handful of roasting blend of fresh herbs, chopped (or more to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 slices guanciale or thick-cut bacon, sliced into lardons (small strips or cubes)
6 cups stock
½ lemon, juiced


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. On a large rimmed sheet pan, layer all the vegetables in a single layer, using two pans if you must (you won’t get the charred edges with an overcrowded pan). Drizzle with oil, season aggressively with salt, pepper, and herbs. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until charred in spots, flipping and rotating pan halfway through cooking time.
  3. While the vegetables cook, mince the celery leaves and place in a small bowl. Add lemon juice and cracked black pepper. Mix thoroughly, set aside.
  4. In a large soup pot set over medium heat, crisp the jowl or bacon pieces. Remove from heat, set aside. Remove all but 1-2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. 
  5. When the vegetables are done, place in a high-power blender with 2 cups of stock and puree until smooth. Alternatively, put vegetables and stock into the soup pot and use an immersion blender to puree.
  6. Pour the puree into the soup pot and set to low heat. Add the rest of the stock and simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

To serve: ladle soup into bowls. Top each with crispy guanciale or bacon pieces and a scoop of the celery leaf salad. I also was thinking a chili oil would perk it up nicely as well. Enjoy!

Substitutions: The vegetables are pretty interchangeable here. Try rutabaga, squash — whatever you’ve got in the fridge that needs to be used. If you’re vegetarian/vegan, replace the pork with chickpeas roasted in a hot oven until crispy and browned.

Caesar Salad

Music: James Taylor, Sweet Baby James – The album that put him in the spotlight with the amazing song Fire and Rain.

Menu: I CANNOT have Caesar without garlic bread.  

Usually, I’m not an ingredient snob.  Like when it mentions, a high quality EVOO, psssht, I just use my regular stuff.  Or cheese…cheapest always wins my heart!  However, I will tell you I am a snob about my caesar salad.  I’ve had to make it with other ingredients before and still tastes good and everything, but the greatness of this recipe is unachievable without a quality anchovy paste and whole grain mustard.  These are my go to brands and they truly make the dressing (with lots of garlic, of course). 

This recipe was my mom’s and most families have some variation of this recipe.  I truly thought it was my mom’s super secret recipe for a long time.  I think I was in high school and told a friend that I wanted to make her my mom’s super secret caesar salad and her response was, “you mean with worcestershire?” And I was like, “damn!”.  But that’s when I found out that my mom’s recipe wasn’t so secret. 

Over the years I have slightly changed the recipe.  Instead of a raw egg, I now use some plain non fat yogurt…yes, my stomach is a weak pathetic excuse of a stomach.  I have also added a good splash of tabasco, which I learned from a restaurant I used to work at.  Both are great additions to any caesar salad. 

So, as you can see from the pics above, one of the most important steps is smushing the mustard grains.  I use the back of a spoon and it works great.  Then I make a paste with the anchovy paste and garlic.  I usually crush the garlic too with the spoon.  The paste is then combined with all the other wet ingredients.  I always taste the dressing BEFORE adding parm.  There’s a much better chance to reseasoning before the cheese goes in and it gets all cheesy, but remember light on the salt as parm is a pretty salty cheese. 

And the parm slices just add a nice touch!  Hope you enjoy this recipe, but let me know how you make your favorite caesar dressing!
Amanda’s Caesar Salad
  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, washed and torn into big pieces
  • 2 tspn. whole grain, stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 tspn. anchovy paste
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 tspn. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TB red wine vinegar
  • S & P
  • Dash of tabasco
  • 1 TB plain, fat free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Parmesan shavings for garnish
  1. Using the back of a spoon, crush the mustard grains, so they pop (you can hear them).  
  2. Add the anchovy paste and garlic.  If the garlic is not finely minced, you can use the same technique as the mustard and help crush the garlic even more.   Stir mustard, paste, and garlic to form a paste.  
  3. Add worcestershire, vinegar,  S & P, tabasco, and yogurt to paste.  Stir until well combined.
  4. TASTE – if the dressing is too sour, try adding a little more yogurt.  If it’s too bland, try some more vinegar or worcestershire.  The more you make the dressing, the easier it is to identify what is off.  
  5. Add cheese and stir to combine. 
  6. Add dressing to lettuce and toss to combine.  Top with shaving and devour.

Wheat Berry Salad

Music: City Park Jazz, once again…have I mentioned how much I love Denver 🙂
Menu: Wheat Berry Salad, wine, and I believe there was a Ho-Ho cupcake involved somewhere in the night!

Alright, so here is the beginning of this story. I have discussed our AMAZING supermarkets in Denver, yes? Well, for those lucky enough to live in Sunflower Market districts, you have experienced the excellent selection met with even greater prices. N-E-WAYS, they have a great bulk section, and I mean pretty great. I get most of the grains, nuts, and granola that we eat from here. Naturally, I peruse this section and scout out unknown stuff. Wheat berries has unfortunately been one of those things. I finally found a simple and great sounding recipe to debut this grain into our diet.

The end of the story is yum, yum, yum…yum, yum, yum. Really. They are a tiny bit starchy, with a little bite, but with a hint of sweetness…in other words full of flavor for a whole grain. Definitely two thumbs up from us!


Wheat Berry Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light


  • 1 1/4 cups wheat berries
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped English cucumber
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed chopped arugula (I used spinach)
  • 6 TB minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (I used chopped vine ripe tomatoes)
  • 1 TB grated lemon rind
  • 3 TB fresh lemon juice
  • S & P
  • 1/2 tspn sugar
  • 2 TB EVOO
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese (I used feta)


  1. Place wheat berries in a medium sauce pan, cover with water (with at least 2 inches above berries). Cover and let stand for 8 hours, drain.
  2. Place wheat berries in same saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce, heat, and cook, uncovered for 1 hour or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Place wheat berries in a large bowl and combine with cucumbers, green onions, arugula, parsley, and tomatoes.
  4. Separately, combine lemon rind, juice, S & P, and sugar in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in EVOO. Drizzle dressing over the salad, and toss well to coat.
  5. Top with cheese and let stand at least 20 minutes before eating to let the flavors combine.

Picnic Tuna Salad

Music: City Park Jazz – I LOVE Denver

Menu: Tuna Salad w/crackers, cheese, and veggie sticks.

I LOVE this tuna salad. It’s tasty without the mayo. So, for anyone who doesn’t like the mayo or if you need to transport the tuna salad to, let’s say, live free jazz concerts in downtown Denver in a beautiful park, then this is what you should make. It’s super easy, quick, and delicious. I made a massive amount of it and met about 10 people at the park and it was devoured in about 5 minutes. I think I even saw some licking their fingers 🙂

And if you are a Denver-ite and have never been to Sunday evening, City Park Jazz, it’s a must! Sundays from 6 – 8pm FREE jazz! Just pack a cooler, join the crowds, and enjoy living in such a great city. Here’s a pic from last weeks fun…

Picnic Tuna Salad

  • 3 cans of tuna in water, drained well
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced thin
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup Kalmata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 TB parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • EVOO
  • S & P
  1. Mix tuna through lemon juice and stir to combine. Add 1-3 TB EVOO to your liking and season to taste with S & P. Chill salad if you have the time. Serve!