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!

INGREDIENTS
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

DIRECTIONS

  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.

White Bean, Winter Squash, and Kale Soup and musings on a new family

Getting back into the swing of things: juggling a baby, a job, life, and making food for my growing family. Whew. It. Is. Exhausting. And I love it. I know a lot of people say that they can’t imagine life without their kids. I now know what they mean. Some folks say it changes your life. Yep. And some folks say it’s not that different. Yes to that too.

I can and can’t remember life before our little sweet pea arrived. It feels so different and the same at times. Before we had baby girl, we had long talks about this. We wanted to have a baby and still be us. We wanted to not get caught up in the daily grind and instead adapt our family of three to our existing rhythm. I think we’ve been very successful, thanks in part to having such a sweet baby.

But one thing that I was determined to not change were our eating and cooking habits. You see we make most things from scratch: bread, tortillas, yogurt, granola, to name a few. Occasionally, when I know I have a busy week, I will stop and grab a loaf of bread, but not without giving myself a stern a talkin’ to. I think the main change is the ability to let go and not make myself feel so guilty for grabbing that packaged product. And that I’m able to do in my sleep deprived, desperately wanting to return to my baby girl-state. Easily. But it’s also just as nice to know I can still juggle the demands of baby, my sleep, and of bread baking too.

So here’s a recent accomplishment…freshly baked little whole wheat bread bowls and a supremely nourishing vegetarian winter soup for you. Enjoy!

Image

White Bean, Winter Squash, and Kale Soup

  • 1 lb. white beans (navy, cannellini, even chickpeas would be great!)
  • 1 large winter squash (butternut, red kuri, kabocha is pictured above)
  • EVOO
  • S & P
  • 1 tspn. chili powder
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, divided 2 whole, 4 minced
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • Medium head of kale, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped
  • Stock or water (about 8 cups)
  • Toppings/garnishes – A hard salty cheese (parmesan/asiago), bacon, hot sauce, etc.
  1. Sort through beans and pick out any weird looking ones and rocks, if you’re lucky! Rinse. Place the beans in a large pot. Cover with 2 inches of water. If you have some whey, throw a healthy dose in there. Let sit for 12-24 hours. Drain and rinse. Return beans to pot, cover with water, add a handful of salt, 2 cloves of garlic and place on high heat. When it starts to boil, reduce to simmer and cook until al dente. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes – 1 hour, depending on the type of bean ad how long the soak took. Don’t overcook or they will turn to mush!
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and de-seed the squash. Cut into bite-sized chunks. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle generously with olive oil, S & P, and chili powder. Roast for 25 minutes, until edges are just beginning to brown and caramelize.
  3. In a large dutch oven, heat your fat of choice (EVOO, coconut oil, butter, bacon fat). Saute onion until translucent and cooked through. Add garlic, pepper, sage, and season with S & P.
  4. Add beans, squash, and water/stock until the contents are covered. Bring to a simmer. Add kale. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until kale is just cooked through and tender.
  5. Season if needed. I also put my immersion blender in there for a bit to create a thicker, creamier soup that still had hearty chunks. You could scoop out about 1/4 of the soup and puree in a blender to get this effect.
  6. Top with something salty, we used aged asiago cheese. Bacon would do too.

Whole Wheat Bread Bowls

Adapted from How Sweet It is

  • 2 cups water (lukewarm)
  • 2 TB active dry yeast
  • 2 TB honey
  • 2 TB EVOO
  • 5 1/2-3/4 cups flour (I used a mixture of whole wheat (1), white whole wheat (3 1/2) and all purpose (1), I didn’t need the extra 1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  1. In your electric mixer bowl, place water, yeast, honey, and EVOO. Stir slightly with a spoon and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Mixture should get foamy and puffy and smell like yeast.
  2. With your dough hook on a low speed (I used 2 and stir the whole time), begin to add flour in 1/2 cup increments. You can stop adding flour when the dough pulls off the sides of the bowl and dough isn’t extremely sticky. Knead dough for 10-12 minutes. You know the dough is done with you can press it firmly with your finger tip and the dough bounces back. If the dough is still really sticky, place on a floured work surface and knead a few times.
  3. Oil a large bowl with EVOO, place dough in bowl and coat with the oil. Cover loosely and set in a warm place to rise for at least an hour and a half.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Punch down dough after it’s risen. Form into a large round. Cut the round into 4 equal pieces and form these into balls.
  6. Place the 4 pieces onto a baking sheet. Cover and let rise again for another 30 minutes.
  7. Gently form each dough into a tighter ball. Score the top of each bowl and brush with beaten egg.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and hard.
  9. Let them cool completely, then using a serrated knife, cut a round out of the middle and fill with soup!