Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Brussels Sprout Pear Topping highlights winter vegetables at their peak. The soup is velvety smooth and topped with a cool, crunchy salad made with brussels sprouts and pears in a balsamic maple syrup dressing. Sponsored by Peapod.
It’s supposed to be Spring, but it still feels like winter. We just had another winter storm last week and there are heaps of snow piled up in our driveway still. So, I’m still craving hearty soups, like this rich and creamy roasted vegetable soup that I created for Peapod.
I think winter vegetables have an inferiority complex. They’re often not the most attractive looking vegetables, and many people are intimidated by them. I know I used to be.
Today’s Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Brussels Sprout Pear Topping features six varieties of winter produce ~ parsnips, yams, carrots, turnips, brussels sprouts and pear. This soup is velvety smooth, and tastes rich and creamy, but it is deceptively light. There is no cream in the recipe. When I created this soup recipe, I wanted a cool, crisp salad topping to contrast the creaminess of the soup. Brussels sprouts, crisp bosc pear and walnuts tossed with a little tangy balsamic vinegar and sweet maple syrup did the trick.
What are winter vegetables?
Winter vegetables are vegetables that are at their peak during the winter. They are often overlooked in favor of warm weather vegetables. I am sometimes the lucky recipient of winter vegetables that my friends get in their CSA boxes and don’t know what to do with them. However, these often gnarly looking root vegetables, heartier bitter leafy green vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables are nutritional powerhouses.
Root vegetables are good sources of fiber and slow-digesting carbohydrates.
The availability of winter vegetables depends on where you live, but here are some winter vegetables that can commonly be found this time of year:
- Celery Root (celeriac)
- Jerusalem Artichokes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Collard Greens
How to cook winter vegetables?
Winter leafy greens (e.g., kale, chard, collard greens) are delicious sauteed/stir-fried, added to soups and stews, or used as a base for winter salads. Root vegetables (e.g., beets, carrots, turnips, celery root, jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, yams, rutabagas, kohlrabi) can be boiled/steamed and mashed, cooked/braised in stews and chili, or roasted. Root vegetables can be enjoyed raw in salads. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts) are delicious sauteed/stir-fried, roasted, eaten raw in winter salads, or added to soups (I love pureed cauliflower soup). Note: some root vegetables are considered cruciferous vegetables.
How to roast root vegetables?
Root vegetables are particularly good roasted because the natural sweetness of the vegetables is brought out as they caramelize in the oven. The trick to roasting root vegetables is to cut all the vegetables into the same size. This requires a little bit of work, but it ensures all the vegetables are done around the same time. The prepared vegetables just need some oil and seasoning before roasting. Salt and pepper are the most basic seasonings, but you can also add thyme, sage, smoked or regular paprika, garlic and onion.
A hot oven and spreading the cut-up vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet helps ensure even cooking and caramelization of the vegetables. The nice brown spots from roasting root vegetables produce nice toasty flavors.
Give this Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Brussels Sprout Pear Topping a try – take advantage of winter produce while it’s still available. It’ll be gone before you know it.
Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Brussels Sprout Pear Topping
- 2 medium sweet potatoes 12 ounces
- 2 carrots 3.5 ounces
- 1 1/2 cups turnips 6.4 ounces
- 2 parsnips 12 ounces
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth
Brussels Sprout Pear Topping
- 1 cup brussels sprouts shredded
- 1/2 cup bosc pear diced
- 2 tablespoons walnuts toasted
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel and cut sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips into 1/2" pieces. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and spread in a single layer. Roast vegetables for 30 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.
Put roasted vegetables in blender and add vegetable broth. Blend until pureed. You may need to do this in two batches. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Brussel Sprouts Pear Topping
In a medium bowl, toss together shredded brussels sprouts, diced bosc pear, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.
Ladle soup into soup bowls. Top each bowl with a spoonful of Brussels Sprout Pear Topping.
Feel free to use any mix of root vegetables you can find at the store.
If you like this recipe featuring winter produce, you might also like these recipes on From The Pod:
Quinoa Bake with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Vegan Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls with Almond Butter Dressing
Roasted Butternut Squash with Parmesan
Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts