We don't often have "soup weather" here in Hawaii, but that does not stop me from craving it. When the temperatures were predicted to drop a few nights ago (hey, 57°F is a cold night for us) I thought this was my perfect opportunity to get the soup pot bubbling. I really wanted to make a vegetable soup as I knew this would suit everyone in my family, but I wanted to make it a little different so I came up with Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Soup.
I seem to have been roasting a lot of vegetables lately, so I thought why not roast the vegetables and bring out that sweetness for my soup. Then I thought, why not add a splash of balsamic vinegar to give it that extra kick. So into the roasting pan went the butternut pumpkin, onions, yellow bell pepper, and some baby carrots. I meant to add celery but forgot, oh well next time. With some balsamic vinegar and olive oil drizzled over the top they went into the oven and roasted for about 45 minutes.
Once the vegetables were roasted I transferred them to my stock pot, making sure I got all the bits from the bottom of the pan. I seasoned them with salt and pepper, and added a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, and used my stick blender to coarsely puree them. If you don't have a hand blender you can put them in a blender but be careful to put a towel over the top because you don't want to accidentally get splattered. After adding four cans of vegetable stock I brought the soup to the boil, lowered the heat and added 1/2 cup barley. Barley was something my grandmother always added to her soups. The soup then simmered away until the barley was cooked. A few handfuls of baby spinach were added just before serving.
I really enjoyed this soup and kept thinking how healthy every mouthful was. We definitely got our servings of fruits and vegetables with this meal. Next time I hope to remember the celery and maybe add some other vegetables too. This would be a great soup if you are looking to clean out the refrigerator, and had vegetables that needed to be used up. The barley was a big hit, but my other choice would have to been to add some small cheese tortellinis to the soup, so maybe I'll try that next time. I served this with a little Parmesan cheese grated on top and a nice crusty loaf of Dutch Crunch bread.
Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Soup
- 3 cups cubed butternut pumpkin
- 1 onion, cut into wedges and separated
- 3 medium carrots, cut into pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 14-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 4 14-oz cans vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup barley
- 4 cups baby spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese to garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
- Place pumpkin, onion, carrots, and bell pepper in a large roasting pan and drizzle with balsamic.
- Transfer to oven and roast for approximately 45 minutes, until very tender.
- Transfer vegetables to a stock pot and season with salt and pepper, add tomatoes, and blend until coarsely pureed.
- Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and add barley, cooking until barley is tender.
- Add spinach and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Makes about 8 servings.