I do love soup and know of few people who don't! Yes, soup dislik-ers actually exist! I've been roasting vegetables for soups this month - it's an easy way to add flavour.
The first soup is a Roasted Cauliflower Pear Soup. Making soup is an easy-going method of cooking and I never measure or follow recipes exactingly. Hence the rather loose recipe.
To make Roasted Cauliflower Pear Soup, I cut up about 1/2 to 3/4 of a head of cauliflower, chopped an onion, peeled a couple of garlic cloves and tossed everything together on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over top - a tablespoon or two and mix with your hands.
The pear was a last minute addition - a couple of Bartletts were ripening fast on the counter top and so I quartered and cored them (the peel remained), and threw them onto the baking sheet. Add a good sprinkle of salt. Roast at 420 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelize.
Place all the vegetables into a suitably sized pot and add 3-4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes, then use an immersion blender to create a smooth texture. Taste, add seasonings as desired, and perhaps a couple of tablespoons of cream to smooth out the flavour.
This soup is delicious with a hint of sweetness from the pears. I served the soup with a bit of crumbled blue cheese on top. Creamy.
The second soup is a Roasted Tomato Soup. It's best made with sweet home-grown tomatoes of any size - as you can see there are tiny cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and full-size tomatoes on the baking sheet.
Cut the tomatoes in half - a baking sheet covered with tomato halves makes enough soup for 4-6 servings. Chop an onion and sprinkle it over top, and some garlic, too. Oregano is still doing well in the garden, so I added some fresh leaves, but dried works just as well.
Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over top - 3-4 tablespoons, and season the tomatoes with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours. As you can see from the photo, the edges are quite caramelized. The house will fill with wonderful fragrance, and you'll be tempted to eat those caramelized tomatoes straight from the pan. Resist.
Once the vegetables are roasted, put them into a pot and add 3-4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or so, then use an immersion blender to smooth it all out. This is a rustic soup, with lots of texture. If you want a really smooth soup, you'll have to strain it.
Taste for seasoning. If the soup is too thick, add some water or broth and simmer for a bit longer. A bit of cream added at the end finishes this soup well, as does a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.