Roasted root vegetable soup



Every now and again, the stories pop up in the tabloids.  The image of the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich or in a piece of watermelon.  The image of Mother Theresa on a cinnamon bun.  The image of Jesus on a tortilla.

I tend to do a bit of eye-rolling and turn the page, never thinking that I'd one day be caught up in an unexplained sighting of my own.

You see, with the weather being cold and grey, my natural instinct is to make soup and lots of it.  Our Sunday night routine when I was a child invariably included soup and I have seen no reason to discontinue the trend here in London:  Sunday night is soup night. 

I have never cared much for soup from a can or a packet.  The latter might be OK for a quick warm snack, but it's not really a meal.  And besides, I want to know what's going into my soup!  So you'd think if I made it myself, this should present no problems. 

I decided on roasting the vegetables before turning them into soup for two reasons:

1.  Roasting them imparts far more flavour than steaming or boiling.

2.  Roasting means the vegetables absorb no moisture during the cooking, meaning that the flavours are not diluted.

And once they were roasted, it was quick and easy to mash them and add stock and milk until I reached the consistency I wanted. The taste was fabulous – all the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, carrots and onions balanced by the earthy Jerusalem artichokes.  Marvellous on a wintry evening. A quick drizzle of cream to garnish and we're good to go.

But wait – what's that?  An image of a seahorse has mysteriously appeared in my 100% vegetable soup!  I double check my ingredient list but nope, no seahorse there. Cue spooky Twilight Zone music.

So I guess there's nothing for me to do but call the tabloids, publish my amazing story and then wait for the tour busses full of curious tourists to show up on my doorstep.



1 large potato
2 sweet potatoes
2 Jerusalem artichokes
3 large carrots
1 large onion
extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp dried thyme
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk
salt and freshly milled black pepper
cream to garnish


Pre-heat the oven to 200C. 

Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and the onion, and thoroughly scrub the other vegetables.  Chop them all into rough chunks.

Toss them all in olive oil, rosemary and thyme and arrange in a large shallow dish in a single layer.  Roasted them at 200C for an hour.

Transfer the vegetables to a large pot and mashed with a potato masher.  Add 2 cups of vegetable stock and a cup of milk and mix well.  (You can vary the amount of liquid, depending on how thick/runny/creamy you want your soup). 

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup untilk smooth, then return the pot to the stove to heat through.  Season to taste and serve with a swirl of cream.

PS – no seahorses were harmed in the making of this soup :)


Whb_2_yrs_2I'm submitting this post as my entry to this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, kindly hosted by Claudia at Fool for Food.

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  1. says

    It DOES look like a seahorse! But I thought it was North America (with the great lakes iced over because it’s winter). I thought it was a nod to the origins of the Jerusalem artichoke (am I remembering my history lesson correctly? Didn’t the Jerusalem artichoke come from North America initially?)
    The soup sounds wonderful. I keep meaning to make soup from roasted instead of steamed vegetables. My sister was been raving about one she made not long ago with roasted squash, beets, garlic and onions. (She said that a lot of the beet pieces didn’t end up in the soup because they tasted so good right out of the oven.)

  2. says

    But you ate the soup, right? So what will you show the clamoring hordes?
    I saw Jesus in the wood paneling on our bathroom wall one night, about 3 am….but that’s a different story altogether!
    Good luck with the fame thing….

  3. says

    It certainly does look like a seahorse, so funny. The soup sounds delicious, especially with the rosemary and thyme. Both of those are so perfect with root vegetables. Jerusalem artichokes is something I still haven’t tasted (nor have I ever seen them for sale here, no idea why not.)

  4. says

    That’s what I thought when I saw the picture of the soup…and I was right…although it could be a mermaid facing the other way :)I love these kinds of soups by the way….so comforting!!

  5. says

    Your soup looks very appetizing, and it includes several of my favorite incredients i.e. sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, rosemary and thyme! I will keep this recipe in mind for later.

  6. says

    I love this recipe. I just made for the second time roasted red pepper and cauliflower soup, it was delicious… I can only imagine how yours taste. I will try it very soon… all I need to get are artichokes and sweet potatoes.
    Enjoy your weekend, Margot

  7. says

    I love this recipe. I just made for the second time roasted red pepper and cauliflower soup, it was delicious… I can only imagine how yours taste. I will try it very soon… all I need to get are artichokes and sweet potatoes.
    Enjoy your weekend, Margot

  8. says

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the roasted vegetables. It’s my first day back and I’m craving a hot bowl f soup. Can I come over for dinner???

  9. says

    Wow this looks so delicious! Roasting the vegetables is a great idea for the soup. I am sure this tastes absolutely divine! Have bookmarked this to try it out!

  10. Marian says

    Please could you tell me another name for the mgumbi (the correct spelling :), the English name and the the scientific name?)- the small root vegetable that is eaten in South Africa?

    Thank you very much