Growing up, we never had soup as a meal. It was always a starter, or a side, and never something memorable. More often than not, it came from a can and I can still remember the unappealing plop as the gelatinous ‘cream-of-something’ soup landed in the saucepan while maintaining its perfect tinned shape. I do remember my grandmother’s meatball soup and how she always made sure my sister and I had the same number of meatballs. I remember its golden colour, and the little thyme leaves that floated on the surface. But most of all I remember the aroma that filled the house and the feeling of happiness that came over us as soon as the front door was opened.
This roasted vegetable minestrone brings back that feeling for me. Filling the house with its beautiful aroma the full flavoured broth comes from using roasted vegetables, in addition to raw aromatics while making the stock, as well as adding a few mushrooms to bring an earthy flavour to this hearty soup. While I would suggest you always make your own stock, with a soup that the broth plays such an important role, as it does in this recipe, homemade stock is essential. I always make this stock after we have roasted a chicken for dinner, but you can always use a pound of backs and necks, or chicken wings if you don’t roast many chickens at home. I have made this soup completely vegetarian by omitting the chicken all together, I just add more mushrooms to keep the broth deep and flavourful.
3 or 4 medium carrots
3 or 4 medium parsnips
3 ribs of celery, reserve leaves for garnish
1 bunch of kale
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tin of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce (omit if making vegetarian)
Dark chicken stock
Preheat over to 400ºF.
Cut carrots and parsnips into bite sized pieces. Toss in olive oil and salt, then roast on a tray in the oven until soft and starting to caramelise. Add to soup pot.
Chop kale into bite sized pieces.
Slice celery into thin slices.
Slice cherry tomatoes in half, then fry in butter and olive oil until softened. Add to soup pot.
Mix vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and tomato paste thoroughly with 2 cups of chicken stock. Add to soup pot.
Add enough chicken stock to fully cover vegetables.
Bring to boil and taste for seasoning. Add kale, celery and peas.