Roasted Veggie & Bean “Hooray for Soup Weather” Soup

As I mentioned earlier while I rambled on about Polenta, I am really unreasonably excited to have some weather that feels November-appropriate to my Northern sensibilities – and I could hardly let it go by without a nice bubbly pot of soup! I’ve been seeing a lot of roasted veggie soups lately, and this is my rendition – a little sweet from the sweet potatoes and carrots, a little spicy (because hey – it’s me!) and satisfyingly smoky with cumin and smoked paprika.* {Admission: atually, I mean LAST week, since I got so busy with work it took me a week to finish writing this up – mea culpa!}

*Carrots and cumin, by the way, were pretty much made for each other. At least when roasted.

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I like to begin by marshaling up my little troop of spices. The smoked paprika was definitely the star of this show.

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Next up, of course, I chopped my veggies and got them roasting with some olive oil and the spices.

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Yum.

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Roasted Veggie & Bean “Hooray for Soup Weather” Soup

For roasting 30-45 minutes @ 425:
2 sweet potatoes
1 onion
2 bell peppers (i used one red, one yellow)
2 handfuls baby carrots
olive oil (1-2 Tbsp)
cumin
smoked paprika
salt
pepper

Towards the end of roasting, in your soup pot:
A little oil (whatever you like to use, I stuck with olive)
2 cloves garlic
32-46 oz vegetable broth (depending on the volume of your veggies, and desired thickness, I used 46)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 (14oz) can garbanzos
1 (14oz) can black beans
1 (14oz) can white beans
1/2 tsp cumin *plus more to taste
1/2 tsp smoked paprika *plus more to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne *plus more to taste
1/4 tsp cinnamon *plus more to taste
dash of oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard (or to taste)
salt
pepper
Optional: I threw a bag of chopped frozen kale in because leafy greens never hurt; it wasn’t too noticeable in the final product but I consider it a nutritional plus

So, of course the first step was to preheat the oven to 425, and you will see my bestie Parchment Paper is helping me out with the veggies. I sprinkled a generous amount of spice on the veggies, and let them go about a half hour. They weren’t brown enough on the edges for my liking at that point, so I put them back in until it had been more like 45 minutes. You’re looking for nice caramelized edges, without burning – not overcrowding you pan helps a lot with this, as an overcrowded pan will tend to steam some instead of roast. Of course I didn’t really take my own advice…

Once my veggies were about done, I heated my large soup pot over a bit more than medium heat to get my oil ready, and put my garlic in (crushed) until it was transclucent.then I added the broth. I used on 32 oz carton, plus a small (14?oz) can. Once the broth was hot, the tomato paste went in and I stirred until it was well blended and let it bubble a bit while I rinsed my beans. In went the beans, and then shortly after the roasted veggies followed.

When things were seeming fragrant and friendly, I added my initial doses of spices – I started everything in the amounts listed for reference, but then began to taste and adjust. I added at least 1/4 tsp more of the smoked paprika, and a bit more cayenne – but I really like my spice. The final touch, because I felt in need of an earthy bite, was the mustard. Now, I’ve seen this in recipes before, including a few I looked at while deciding to try my hand at this one, but it made me nervous. A small test portion seemed good thougs, so bombs away – and it did indeed anchor the cayenne and cinnamon I had added with just the right low earthy flavor and slight bite. So, hooray! I think I may buy some mustard powder in the future. Just like using ketchup in place of tomato paste weirds me out, this did too – makes me think too literally of a soup sandwich or something!

So there you have it! This recipe is absolutely a keeper and I enjoyed it for dinner all week longs. It’s delicious in its own right, and also a very welcome departure from the mainly mirepoix style soups I typically make. The small amount of cinnamon really added a nice round sweetness, combined with the sweet potatoes, that sill didn’t overwhelm the smoky, spicy, savory feel. I didn’t run a nutritional analysis on this because I’ve been very busy and not tracking the macros the past few weeks, but the high bean content should make for a decent amount of protein.

BONUS TIP!
If you’re like me, you absolutely never use up the full can of tomato paste when you’ve opened one for a recipe – and it inevitably sits lonely in the fridge until it goes to waste. While I was working on this soup, though, I recalled my dad’s solution to the tomato paste problem, which was that he used to freeze single-use blocks of it in an ice cube tray to pull out as needed. I didn’t have an ice cube tray handy so I’ll have frozen blobs instead of cubes, but plopping roughly tablespoon-size dollops on wax paper to freeze worked out just fine.
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