Roasted root vegetable soup with dukkah

Great soup shines thanks to tasty garnish!

The earthy flavours of root vegetables make them a natural choice for soup.  Roasting them brings out their natural sweetness and gives the soup a richer, more complex flavour. Be sure to take a few moments to make the garnish – dukkah is an Egyptian-inspired, finely-ground blend of nuts, seeds and spices that adds both texture and a subtle, intriguing taste to the soup. This vegan-friendly recipe makes quite a large batch of soup and it freezes beautifully.



For soup:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 small white turnip
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 medium celery root
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons (45 – 60 mL) olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) olive oil
  • 6 – 8 cups (1.4 – 1.9 L) vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) cayenne (or more, to taste)

For dukkah:

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) coarse sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Peel all vegetables except garlic and cut into large (1.5 – 2 inch/3.5 – 5 cm) chunks. Place veggies in a roasting pan and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Toss to coat evenly and season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Roast the vegetables until they are tender and just starting to brown (40 – 50 minutes).
  • While vegetables are roasting, cut the top off the head of garlic. Place on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Fold up the foil to completely encase the garlic. Roast in the oven with the vegetables for 30 minutes.
  • While vegetables and garlic are cooking, prepare the dukkah (garnish): In a dry skillet over medium heat, roast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Place in a mortar and pestle and pound together with the peppercorns until finely ground (you can also use a food processor or a spice/coffee mill to do this).  Put spice mix in a small mixing bowl.
  • In same dry skillet, roast walnuts until fragrant, about 10 minutes (watch them carefully so that they don’t burn). Remove the nuts to a bowl as soon as they are toasted.
  • In the same skillet, roast sesame seeds until they begin to turn golden brown, 2 – 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl as soon as they are done.
  • Put walnuts, sesame seeds and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Do not over process.
  • Add nut mixture to spice mixture and stir to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, put them in a large saucepan along with garlic, 6 cups of stock, maple syrup and cayenne.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Using a stick blender, puree the soup (or do it in a regular blender, in small batches). Add up to 2 cups more broth to get the consistency you like (it should be thick, but not too thick).
  • Ladle hot soup into warmed bowls. Garnish each with 1 teaspoon (or a bit more) of dukkah.

Serves 8 – 12.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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