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.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 large carrots
- 1 small white turnip
- 2 parsnips
- 1 medium celery root
- 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 6 – 8 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (or more, to taste)
- ½ cup walnut pieces
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 1.5 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1.5 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon 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.