The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Whenever I cook a roast I always make sure to cook up a mass of root vegetables. I’ll bake potato, pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot so that I have enough for dinner and plenty of leftovers. I love leftovers! It saves me having to do a big cook every day, and it provides lots of extra simple meals for when I am busy or tired. I’m going through a bit of a soup phase right now, so all of those spare baked spuds from the weekend roast screamed to be turned into a big pot of lovely liquid…
This soup is essentially a left-over roast vegetable soup. It definitely needs potato to give it that creamy velvety texture, but you can use any other kinds of roasted vegetables too. At times I have used pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, cauliflower, broccoli and even roast tomatoes.
You can make it to suit your own dietary needs – it can be easily made as vegan or vegetarian, or you can add additional protein by using a bone-broth base, and finishing it with a little bacon, cheese or sour cream.
This is a hearty, filling soup that can made in 30 minutes. You can keep it in the fridge for 3 days, and it also freezes well. It’s great served with crusty fresh bread, toast or garlic bread.
The soup you see pictured was made with 70% roasted potatoes, and the other 30% a combination of golden and white sweet potato (the one with the purple skin), and butternut pumpkin. My local greengrocer also had smoked garlic, so I used six cloves of that – which really added a delicious flavour. Honestly, this is foolproof, so just wing it with what you have.
- Around 750g of cooked roasted potatoes or a combination of roasted potatoes and other roasted vegetable roughly chopped into chunks – this is between 5 to 6 cups of cooked vegetables. If you haven’t roasted your vegetables yet, cut into chunks, add a drizzle of olive oil and toss them to coat, and then bake in oven ay 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden and cooked through.
- Olive oil – around two tablespoons
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 to 6 large cloves of garlic (less if you don’t like garlic, more if you are a garlic addict like me)
- 3 to 4 cups of stock, or enough stock to just cover the vegetables (use stock cubes and water, bone broth or vegetable stock – whatever you prefer)
- For a more decadent soup you can add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of cream or milk of your choice to thin the soup when it has finished cooking.
- salt and pepper to taste
Optional but good to finish the soup
Your choice of any of the following:
- a dollop of sour cream, plain yoghurt or crème fraiche
- grated cheese such as pecorino, parmesan or something with a bit of taste to it
- crispy bacon bits
- crispy croutons
- chopped fresh herbs such as green onion, chives, dill or parsley
- fresh bread, toast or garlic bread
- Place a slurp ( 1 to 2 tablespoons) of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook. stirring often, until soft and fragrant but not coloured.
- Dump in your roughly chopped roasted vegetables, and your stock, a good grind of pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and mushy and breaking apart.
- Check while cooking in case it becomes dry – add a splash of water or stock if this happens.
- Use a stick blender or potato masher to blend until smooth. Or, pour into a blender a cup or two at a time and whizz until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Adjust thickness if required by adding a little more stock, hot water, cream or milk.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and then add your choice of toppings and breads if desired.