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Root Vegetable Soup & Herbed Goat Cheese Tartines

Roasted Vegetable Soup & Herb Goat Cheese Tartines

To say that it has not really been good "soup weather" around here this winter would be an understatement. We have spent more days in short sleeves and sandals than in sweaters and boots. Granted South Carolina has a sub tropical weather year round and we do joke that we have two seasons, Hot and Hotter also called Humid and More Humid. Yet, February is a month we all look forward to as it usually offers a bit of a chill, a couple of weeks of fireplaces burning, of hoodies and gloves.

Making Soup

Not this year. I can count on both hands the days I wore a sweater and on one those when I put my coat on. And boy do I love Winter. I grew up in an area of Provence where the Mistral wind often blew stronger in the Winter time, giving way to clear and chilly skies. Here the winds unmistakably bring thunderstorms or clear warm days. If I want a Winter mood, it is up to me to create it.


Soup will put me in an instant winter cozy mood. But here obviously, soups cannot be only for cold grey days. I grew up with my mom serving soup every dinner before the rest of the meal but I did not really continue that habit once I moved away on my own. Instead, soups of all kinds became standard lunch fare at the house. Piping hot a few times but mostly warm or room temperature to be able to taste every bit of subtleties in the marriage of the vegetables used and their dance on my palate.

Herb Goat Cheese Tartines

This soup is no exception to my rushing to lunch time every day. I am not much of a breakfast eater and I usually work straight through lunch but comes 2pm and my stomach wants to jump hoops and make loud cavernous noises until I settle it down with a little something. I find the most satisfying lunch to be a big cup of soup and a tartine these days.

Roasted Vegetable Soup & Herb Goat Cheese Tartines

I can sit down, catch up on the news around, satisfy my hunger and recharge my internal batteries with the minimum fuss and the most gratifying bowl of goodness. I usually start a big pot of soup while I cook other things for dinner or as soon as I get up and start production on my shoots for the day. The smells wrapping up or kicking off a day at work are tantalizing enough to make me wish for that first spoonful with great anticipation.

Roasted Vegetable Soup & Herb Goat Cheese Tartines

This soup has been made three times in the last ten days. We just can’t get enough of it. My friend John who is a chef at my favorite restaurant downtown, reminded me that most of the vegetables I used for it were what we call back home "les légumes oubliés" or heirloom vegetables. Vegetables that are finely and firmly coming back on menus and dinner tables all around.

Sunchokes or Jerusalem Artichokes (topinambours), parsnips, turnips. I added Vidalia onions, cauliflower and a bit of rosemary to round up the flavors. Served with a slice of grilled bread smeared a bit or goat cheese mixed with plenty of herbs and topped with a few slices of radishes and it was the perfect lunch.

I am thinking of adding a poached egg to my tartine next time and makes this dinner…

Roasted Vegetable Soup

(Mostly) Root Vegetable Soup & Herbed Goat Cheese Tartines:

Serves 4 as a main dish

1 small head of cauliflower
3 cloves garlic
3 to 4 small Vidalia onions
1 pound sunchokes (peeled and quartered)
4 turnips (peeled and quartered)
3 parsnips (peeled and cut into 1-inch thick rounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 or 2 rosemary sprigs
1/2 to 1 cup water, or veggie or chicken stock

Preheat oven to 375F and position a rack in the middle.
Trim the outer leaves from the cauliflower head. Cut in quarters, remove the core, and cut the cauliflower into medium size florets. Place on a large baking sheet.
Peel the garlic and place on the baking sheet with the cauliflower.
Trim the white part from the green stalk of the Vidalia onions. Keep the white part and cut into medium sized chunks. Wash well under water and place also on the baking sheet.
Finely add the sunchokes, turnips and parsnips to the same baking sheet.
Drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper. Place the rosemary on top and roast for about 20-25 minutes. Remove the rosemary.
Let cool slightly. Place in a food processor, start running the machine and add enough water to have a creamy soup. Re-season if necessary with salt and pepper. Serve with the herbed goat cheese tartines.

Herb Goat Cheese & Radish Tartines:

Makes 2 tartines per person

8 slices of your favorite bread
8 oz plain goat cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch radishes (about 6 to 8) cut into thin slices

Grill or toast the bread and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese and herbs until well blended.
Spread some of the goat cheese mixture on the tartines, top with some radish slices.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 21, 2012 um 12:53 am

Sunchokes or Jerusalem Artichokes — not something very many people cook with and such a delightful veggie..great to see you use it. The soup looks amazing.

Love how you served/presented it in glasses, not bowls, and great antique spoons.

Had put your book down for about 4 mos and just came back to it about a week ago, re-reading certain chapters, pages, passages and I have a whole new appreciation for it. It's like reading a new book since my evolution and photography journey is progressing and no two foods, days, environments, etc are ever the same. Truly, a classic work, Helene. Thank you!!!

And I used to live in Myrtle Beach. Humid and humider about sums it up.

Unknown February 21, 2012 um 1:57 am

I feel so fortunate here that Houston has had some downright chilly and windy days this month. It has actually felt like a change in seasons (and I adore winter after living for so long in the North). Love soups. We have a soup going every week over here. I love to see what my husband and kids will pick out of my big soup cookbook.

Sara February 21, 2012 um 2:33 am

Those tartines are so pretty! Everything looks super delicious, yum. 🙂

Unknown February 21, 2012 um 2:38 am

Your pictures make my heart sing.

Stephanie February 21, 2012 um 4:25 am

You are so talented with your food pics! Do you plan on hosting any more macarons classes in LA anytime soon?

Jennifer (Delicieux) February 21, 2012 um 7:10 am

I've never cooked with Sunchokes, but I've been seeing a few recipes with them so it has piqued my interest and I definitely want to try them. I absolutely adore parsnips though, so I am sure I would love this soup.

I have you say also that your photos are always so inspiring. I especially love that last photo of the soup in the glass with the rosemary on top. For some reason I always find herbs so beautiful, just as beautiful as flowers some times.

ChichaJo February 21, 2012 um 7:35 am

Over here is is hot and hotter too…actually hot and/or wet! So I too make "wintry" food whenever I feel like it as I can't rely on a real winter to give me reason 🙂

This soup and tartine combination sounds delicious!

argone February 21, 2012 um 8:32 am

Je redécouvre avec plaisir également les panais, topinambours … et je me régale en gratin ou soupes, ou tout simplement sautés à la poêle.
avec une tartine c'est bien tentant !

id-guide February 21, 2012 um 10:32 am

Beautiful photos!

Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z February 21, 2012 um 12:23 pm

Love the root vegetable soup. In Pennsylvania we are enjoying a milder winter, but certainly cold enough for hot soup! ( around 30-40)

Valérie (France) February 21, 2012 um 12:24 pm

Voilà un excellente remède détox
Je te souhaite une belle journée

Life Images by Jill February 21, 2012 um 1:20 pm

I adore soups – both the making and the eating! So homely, comforting and full of goodness. And your photography always inspires me to try to do better with my own food photography. Your book is never far away and I delve into it often.
Thank you again for sharing your amazing talents with us.

Anonymous February 21, 2012 um 1:21 pm

These photos are simply stunning. I've just started using an SLR camera (borrowed from my Dad) and your book is a godsend – I've learnt so much already!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 21, 2012 um 2:57 pm

Goat cheese is the best!

Unknown February 21, 2012 um 3:06 pm

Las fotos siempre tienen un enfoque entre romántico y provenzal.Me gustan.

Becca February 21, 2012 um 3:51 pm

Looks wonderful as usual! I am heading to Charleston at the end of March to celebrate my mother's 60th birthday with her and my sister. We can't wait to explore the city. Your link to Lana helped me figure out where we will be having dinner saturday night! thank-you!

Michele | Cooking At Home February 21, 2012 um 4:48 pm

What a beautiful and appetizing lunch.

Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet February 21, 2012 um 5:00 pm

I am currently sitting in very foggy, cold weather right now, so this post is warming me from head to toe. And I'll take goat cheese on anything any day!

Shelby February 21, 2012 um 6:47 pm

Oh! How enticing that soup looks, accompanied by crunchy tartines…the ideal lunch pick me up for cold, wintry days… Thank you!

Marta @ I love breakfasts February 21, 2012 um 9:42 pm

Very nice soup idea and a presentation is just great. I am sick and my throat is in pain so a healthy soup could be a good solution for me 🙂

Kitchenette Finds February 21, 2012 um 10:57 pm

We are certainly having soup weather in the North West. I am loving roasted vegetable soups. I keep switching up the veggies and blend in some white beans. They reeze beautifully as well!

Lauren February 21, 2012 um 11:20 pm

Soup is a big favorite in our house. My son has loved it since he could eat solid(ish) food. I never think to make it for lunch and never, ever for just myself. I'm wondering if this plan will move into my Sunday rhythm, making for meals for the week. This soup looks particularly delicious. As always, thank you!

Sandrine February 21, 2012 um 11:52 pm

Another girl from provence that misses the mistral and lives in sub tropic (australia) …
Ici, je fait ma petite soupe régulière aussi 🙂 Il me faudra essayer cette belle recette merci!:) Par contre, J'ai du mal a trouve du topinambour merci pour le nom en anglais…je vais continuer la recherche 🙂 Sandrine x

Rose D., Frenchtown, NJ February 22, 2012 um 2:20 pm

I could eat Herb Goat Cheese & Radish Tartines every single day!! Thank you for the stunning photos. ~rose

Seanna Lea February 22, 2012 um 3:04 pm

We haven't had winter really here in Boston either. My huge down filled coat sits on the hook and I wear my lighter fleece coat. So weird!

Rocky Mountain Woman February 22, 2012 um 10:59 pm

Not much winter here either…

but it is cold enough for soup!

Melissa February 23, 2012 um 3:10 am

This looks beautiful. I love the sound of the tartine with radish paired with the creamy root vegetable soup.
Thanks for sharing!

Tracy February 24, 2012 um 4:26 pm

I have never tried sunchokes before, but this soup sounds like a great motivator to try a new food!

tania@mykitchenstories February 26, 2012 um 5:28 am

hmm the world is a strange place at the moment. Not cold enough for soup where you are and not hot enough to say no to soup here. This is one of my favourite things to eat. Thick beautiful vegetable soup

Barbara February 26, 2012 um 9:43 pm

Helene it sounds like your weather is similar to ours. I make soup often and a soup and sandwich is a regular lunch for me.

Roberta February 28, 2012 um 1:26 pm

Hi Helene, I am not new to your blog, even though I seldom leave comments…

I must thank you for the great ideas you share with us, your talent and passion for food.
I have been litterally glued to your book 'plate to pixel' since I received it as a Christmas gift.
Your photos are so natural and awesome!

This post really strikes a chord.
I love soups. Right now a big pot of celery root, leeks and potato soup is on my kitchen stove.
Can you smell it?

Redd H February 28, 2012 um 7:31 pm

This looks like creamy, dreamy heaven! I am definitely going to try this!

Esther Diehl February 29, 2012 um 6:54 pm

Any suggestions for a cauliflower substitute? It's on my 'can't eat' list.

Helene February 29, 2012 um 10:22 pm

esther: you could bump up the sunchokes or the parsnips or the turnips or bump them all. You could also add some peeled potatoes.
Hope that helps.

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