Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Instead of reaching for a calorie-dense snack, try a bowl of this delicious veggie-packed soup, courtesy of Chef Oonagh Williams.
Gluten-Free Winter Vegetable Soup
Makes 7-8 cups
2 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
½ lb. fresh parsnips, peeled and chopped
½ lb. squash (frozen squash is fine)
½ lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato (weighing roughly 1 lb.), peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
Salt and pepper
Sprig of rosemary (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
5 cups gluten-free chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 (12 oz.) can coconut milk, half-and-half or light cream
1. Choose one of two cooking methods for the first step:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss all the vegetables in olive oil with maple syrup, salt and pepper. Place in a cast-iron skillet or roasting pan and roast for about a half hour, until the vegetables start caramelizing.
In a large, soup-sized pot, heat the olive oil, add vegetables, salt and pepper and start frying until they are starting to brown nicely. Once they start becoming tender, add the maple syrup to make them brown faster. Don’t add maple syrup earlier, as it will stick and burn. Wait until the vegetables start releasing some juices.
2. Add stock, dried thyme, bay leaves and sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer and cook, covered, for about half an hour or until vegetables are falling apart tender.
3. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprig. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or by transferring the mixture to a stand blender.
4. Stir in can of coconut milk. (I use the blender again to mix in the milk.)
5. Taste and adjust seasonings. Thin the soup with more stock if it is too thick for you.
Tips & Alternatives:
- This soup is perfect for freezing and reheating on those days when you don’t have time to cook.
- Add some chickpeas or other beans to the pureed soup (perfect for a Meatless Monday!). You can also serve with bits of ham or turkey.