Sunday, January 9, 2011

Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Soup



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

Ingredients
  • 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
Preparation
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place pumpkin, onion, carrots, and bell pepper in a large roasting pan and drizzle with balsamic.
  3. Transfer to oven and roast for approximately 45 minutes, until very tender.
  4. Transfer vegetables to a stock pot and season with salt and pepper, add tomatoes, and blend until coarsely pureed.
  5. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and add barley, cooking until barley is tender.
  7. Add spinach and cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Makes about 8 servings.


36 comments:

  1. I have decided there is not anything that does not taste better with balsamic vinegar (starting to feel that way about apple cider vinegar too). This looks delicious!

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  2. That looks so warm and comforting...we are freezing out here so a bowl of that sounds great to me!

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  3. Gorgeous! This sounds so hearty and comforting!

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  4. A great cold weather soup!! I am saving this one for a cold day, which here is anyday from now until spring!

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  5. sounds delicious - love the addition of balsamic!

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  6. Hawaii sounds great right now! Almost as great as this soup! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Oh to live n Hawaii! I am a total cold weather wimp. This soup looks absolutely delicious :)

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  8. That sounds delicious- its been really rainy around here, I'll have to give it a try!

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  9. We really don't have too many cold weather days here in Phoenix either, but now that my blood has thinned, many days feel like soup weather when they wouldn't have otherwise! This soup looks fantastic :)

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  10. It's so cold here in chicago....I would really like to have a bowl of this warm soup right away :)
    Btw, I am not too fond of parmesan cheese, any suggestions for a different cheese?

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  11. @Cakewhiz A lot of people are fond of the taste of Parmesan cheese so please feel free to leave it out. I also thought a little parsley on top would brighten the flavor so you could try that instead.

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  12. That sounds amazing and is the next soup I will make! It's definitely soup weather in Michigan.

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  13. All different variations sound really good! Vinegar does bring out more flavor, I added apple cider and red wine a couple times for beet soups. Makes a difference!
    Love the cheese tortellini version. Will try soon because it is snowing here and we need soup! :)

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  14. Oh my gosh....fabulous idea! I have been making tons of soups and roasted veggies and I love balsamic but never think to put the two together. I can't wait to read more of your blog!

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  15. Although I am in CA it has been a bit chilly, and at the beach more so...plus I love soup anyway :) This looks delicious :)

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  16. OOhh, Felice! I love this soup. Butternut and balsamic are two of my favorite things, but I have to say I've never thought to put them together. What a wonderful idea!
    I know what you mean about the cold. Actually, we have warmed up a bit, so I'm happy!!

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  17. What a great looking soup! I think soup is fine for any type of weather!

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  18. this soup looks delicious lots of delicious flavours
    do give the pumpkin curry a try

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  19. This is such a lovely soup. It is perfect for our damp and dreary winter days. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  20. This sounds delicious - I love a nice healthy soup.

    I'm kind of jealous of you living in Hawaii - I have been to Kawaii once and I absolutely loved it!

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  21. I love soup in all kinds of weather...but especially on cold days. It has finally cooled down here in Austin, so I'm craving some! I love how you roasted the vegetables first. What a great idea to add more flavor. Thank you for you for sharing this yumminess, and thank you for your kind words on my blog. They mean so much!

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  22. oh this is just lovely... thank you for sharing this. have a nice day.

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  23. This soup sounds so warm and comforting! I want some.

    I also want to come live with you in Hawaii. :)

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  24. We are in 'soup weather' here and you make crave for this hearty soup now! It looks scrumptious!

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  25. That is one fine looking bowl of soup. Love the balsamic feature in soup...so glad I ran across your blog. I saw you via Foodbuzz by the way, we are friends there!

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  26. This soup sounds great! I'm sure roasting the veggies added tons of flavor, and I love the veggies you chose. Sounds like a hearty, comforting meal on a chilly, wintry day :)

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  27. I made this and took your advice by adding parsely and it was delicious! Even my husband liked it and he is not too fond of soups. I will be making this again :D

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  28. What an awesome way to bring another layer of flavor to soup. Roasting the vegetables beforehand would put it over the top with goodness.

    Honestly, if I was in Hawaii and it got down to 57, I'd be unhappy and my suitcase would be totally unprepared for that level of chill.

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  29. I think balsamic is one of the most under utilized ingredients in my kitchen! Love this!

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  30. I'm fairly obsessed with soup, and this one looks AMAZING.

    I'm really enjoying reading your blog by the way! :) SO much good food!

    -nicole

    http://nicolecooks.wordpress.com

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  31. This sounds fabulous! LOVE the addition of balsamic, brilliant!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary
    Delightful Bitefuls

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  32. Mmm...I love balsamic roasted vegetables but would never think to try them in a soup - I bet this is great!

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  33. I'm not normally a fan of soup, but I made this one for my husband who has been relatively soup-deprived since marrying me :) and it was great! We made the mistake of adding a little extra barley because we thought it looked thin, which of course all expanded until just a few bites of the finished product filled us to bursting, but this was a delicious recipe I'll definitely make again. Thanks for sharing!

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