Growing up, root vegetables were not something my mom would cook often. Except for potatoes and carrots it was pretty much never actually. Too many turnips and rutabagas during the shortages of World War II made my mother a little reluctant to use them, even decades later. I don’t think my dad would have minded at all. He never minds anything he can eat. That’s what I like about him. He’s always game to try new things. Mom too don’t get me wrong. Even pink soup.
Yes, looks like I did channel my inner Bridget Jones when I put a bunch of roasted vegetable in the blender and walked away for a minute to turn some dough. You see, after an ok venture into blitz gluten free puff pastry with Shauna in Seattle a few weeks ago, mom and I have been working on cracking our own puff pastry code. Her health condition benefits from a little less gluten too and it’s been really fun to come up with gluten free versions of her favorites. Seeing what Jeanne did, I know we’ll get there.
Here I was, giving our doughs one last turn when I heard my mom go "hmmm…sweetie. The soup is pink. Did you make it pink on purpose?" Ugh no…shoot! Wait! What did I do? Who is going to want to eat pink soup? "Oh no! Les betteraves rouges! (the red beets!) I forgot to remove the red beets!" I had roasted a mix of root vegetables for soup, pushed some red beets to the corner of the pan for a salad and instead just dumped the whole thing in the blender. Hence, the pink soup and B. calling me Bridget when he saw it.
There is always one kitchen blooper when my parent come visit. Too many things, too many languages going on at once. Too many jokes and giggles. And there you have it, one of us has a brain freeze. Or two.
But they love me, discombobulated or not, and ate the pink soup. Yes, Bill ate beets. People in Charleston surely did not feel the earth shatter from it but we did. Actually we held our breath as he looked hard at the soup in front of him. "Interesting. I don’t think I have ever had pink soup before." I told him it was a bunch of roasted root vegetables, including roasted red beets. "not pickled? not boiled? not raw?" he asked. As I shook my head negatively three times in a row, he exclaimed "Well then. It’s lovely. Just as it is. Bridget."
The soup is a mix of parsley roots, celery root, sunchokes, golden and red beets, potatoes. To add some depth, I added roasted garlic and oregano from our garden. I saved one sunchokes that I sliced thin and pan fried in a bit of olive oil until golden brown to garnish the soups with and served them with gluten free English muffins. The nex day we had leftover with freshly picked crab and gluten free puff pastry croutons (!). It was a hit with everyone which made me wish I had made a bigger batch right from the start.
P.S: My brother says "thank you" for all the birthday wishes. You really made his day!
Roasted Root Vegetable Soup:
Serves 4 to 6
6 parsley root, peeled and diced
1 medium celery root, peeled and diced
2 potatoes, peeled and dice
3 golden beets, peeled and diced
3 red beets, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed, skin removed
1 spring oregano
6 sunchokes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Place all the vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Place them all in a large roasting pan and roast at 375F – 400F until tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven, remove the oregano (discard) and let cool completely.
Once cooled, place all the vegetables in a blender and add as much as little water as you like to reach the soup consistency that you prefer (we like ours on the thick side) and puree until smooth.
To serve, reheat as needed and serve with bread, croutons, oregano leaves, etc…