“Rrrrrrrr,” I say, watching the gray sky and rain eat away at the meager snow cover as we drive back from the grocery store. We haven’t been skiing a single day yet this season, and it’s not looking good for the near future.
“Who’s that?” Wayne asks, “The Penguin or Dick Cheney?”
“Rrrrrr,” I say again and this time I notice I do sound like Dick Cheney. It doesn’t make me feel any better, though. Rain in January makes me especially grumpy. “We should move to Canada,” I say. Better chance of snowy January, universal health care, and less chance of Newt becoming our president.
“Welcome to Canada,” Wayne says in his little beaver voice. (Watch this video to understand why this cheers me up a bit.)
Back at home, my version of a soup I found on “Simply Recipes” offers more consolation. The roasted veggies lend a depth to the broth without much oil or any animal products whatsoever. The roasted garlic, especially, adds mellow sweetness to the stew-like soup. Paired with crusty bread, it’s a satisfying winter meal for a so far unsatisfactory winter.
Roasted Vegetable and Kale Sou
- olive oil to coat veggies
- 2 medium onions, cut into large chunks
- a few handfuls of peeled baby carrots
- 5 cloves garlic (or more)–whole
- 1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 quarts veggie stock
- 2 ribs celery, cut into moons
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- several sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can white beans (great northern)
- 3-4 cups chopped kale
- Spread the onions, carrots, garlic, and squash out on one or more baking dishes and paint liberally with olive oil. Cook for up to 45 minutes on 425 degrees, but check periodically. When the edges begin to go dark brown, it’s done. Meanwhile, start on the rest of the soup
- Pour six cups of the broth and tomatoes into a large soup pot. You can use an immersion blender to turn some of the tomatoes into puree–do this before turning the soup on.
- Turn the pot to medium and add celery, cumin, thyme, bay leaf, beans and kale and simmer while the veggies are roasting.
- Use remaining stock to deglaze the roasting pans (pour stock over veggies and stir to recover the yummy browned juices). Using a spoon or fork, thoroughly squash the garlic gloves so the tender roasted insides mix into the soup. (If the outside got too hard, discard it–the best part is the squishy innards.)
- Add the roasted veggies and their juice to the soup pot. Simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust as needed. Remove the bay leaf and sprigs of thyme (though you can put the leaves back in) before serving.