Sunday, September 22, 2013

Roasted Vegetable Soup (Paleo, Gluten-free, Vegetarian) and Pompeian Olive Oil

I know what you're thinking, but there is no pumpkin in this soup.

Parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes, yes, but no pumpkin.  See?  I'm branching out into other fall flavors.

This soup is sweet, creamy, and comforting.  Roasting the vegetables with thyme and olive oil gives them great flavor (as does a generous splash of wine).  In my opinion, though, serving the soup with a dollop of tangy creme fraiche and drops of rich olive oil is what really makes it so fabulous.

This recipe is inspired by a bottle of Pompeian extra virgin olive oil that I was given and asked to review.  I often cook with olive oil, but I had not given a lot of thought to what makes a particular olive oil special.  So, since this is a product review, I tasted some of Pompeian's olive oil plain, and also tasted some of the other brand of olive oil that I've been using for the past few months.  Both of the oils were very flavorful and robust, but I preferred the taste of the Pompeian.  It had a smoother flavor than the other oil, which tasted a little more jarring to me.  Since I liked the taste of Pompeian plain, I knew I would love it in the context of a delicious soup.  Click here if you'd like to learn more about Pompeian and get a coupon for $1 off.  Also, you can click here to like Pompeian on Facebook, and click here to take a survey and be entered to win $200!

Here, olive oil is used for roasting the vegetables, sauteing the onion to make the base, and for finishing the soup.  I love this olive oil as a finish because you can really taste the earthy goodness of it, which is a great counterpoint to the sweet roasted veggies.  I hope you love this soup as much as I do!

P.S.  Pompeian extra virgin olive oil is monitored for quality by the US Department of Agriculture, and quality-certified by the North American Olive Oil Association.  Did you know there's a lot of fraudulent olive oil being imported and sold in our country?  Sometimes olive oil labeled as "extra-virgin" has lower-quality olive oils mixed in, or even other oils altogether (like canola).  Tom Mueller has written a whole book about it called Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil. You can also read a blog post about it here.

Ingredients (makes 4 cup servings or 2 large bowl servings):

For the roasted vegetables:

6 cups peeled and chopped root vegetables (I used 4 parsnips, 1 turnip, and 1 sweet potato--carrots and rutabagas are on the list for next time)
3 tablespoons Pompeian olive oil
Leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

For the base:

1 tablespoon Pompeian olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion (1 small or 1/2 large)
1/2 cup dry white wine like Chardonnay or Riesling (or substitute more stock plus 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar)
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup creme fraiche or coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

1 tablespoon creme fraiche or coconut milk per serving
1/2 teaspoon Pompeian olive oil per serving
Thyme sprigs (optional)

To make the roasted vegetables, preheat the oven to 400 and line a sheet pan with foil.  Place the chopped root vegetables on the pan, drizzle with three tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme leaves.  Toss to coat the vegetables with the seasonings, and make sure they are spread out in a single layer.  Roast for about 45 minutes, tossing once, until tender.

Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat to start making the base.  Add the onion and saute until browned.  Add the wine and let it bubble away for a minute or so, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the chicken or vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and boil for five minutes.  Stir in the creme fraiche, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Turn off the heat and set aside until the vegetables are ready.

When the roasted veggies are done, let them cool slightly, then transfer the vegetables and the base to a food processor (or use an immersion blender).  Process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Return to the pan to reheat if needed.  Serve hot with a dollop of creme fraiche or a drizzle of coconut milk and several drops of olive oil on top.  Don't skip these garnishes--they add so much fabulous flavor!

Disclosure:  I received free product from Pompeian in order to write this review.  All opinions are my own.

You might also like:

Black Bean & Corn Bisque (Vegetarian)

Spicy Cocoa Chili (Paleo, Gluten-free)

Red Curry Vegetable Noodle Bowl (Vegetarian)


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