Roasted Root Vegetable Soup (Fresh Food Fridays)

Welcome back to Fresh Food Fridays! It’s a new year, and I hope it has been a productive, beautiful start for everyone this past week whether it was back to work, school, or just a regular day for you.

For myself and I’m sure many others, the highlight of the first week of 2016 has been getting a CSA distribution again after the holiday break. It’s been too long!

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My compost scraps from this week’s recipe!

With a CSA share comes great, fresh food and a LOT of compost. It actually feels relieving to compost again. After doing it religiously, it seems like a big deal to waste vegetable scraps, and a lot of waste was happening while I was visiting friends and family over the break.

Motivated by the overstuffed Ziploc bag of produce scraps I refused to throw out, I’m proud to say my parents now have a healthy compost bin going in their backyard.

The holidays take a toll on everyone’s diet, and most of us can relate to the over consumption of meats and sweets over the holidays and lack of fresh food options when traveling.

Luckily, it’s also the season for amazing produce where hearty winter vegetables are plentiful like cauliflower, broccoli and carrots that make a great winter veggie medley. In my CSA distribution from the Downtown Farmer’s Market, I received a lovely variety of winter rooters, including rutabaga, sweet potatoes (the best), carrots, and turnips.

The first time this mix showed up in my CSA, I had no idea what to do with the rutabaga, turnips, and huge bunches of carrots I couldn’t eat fast enough. Luckily, to help with this dilemma Swallowtail Farm provides delicious recipes for their CSA shareholders, so this week’s recipe is compliments of the farm!

This week’s recipe is a sweet and savory, totally vegetarian soup made with local, seasonal, organic veggies, perfect for chilly winter days.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

What You’ll Need:

3 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped)

2-4 carrots (peeled and chopped)

1 rutabaga (peeled and chopped)

1 cup coconut milk

3 cups vegetable broth

1-2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. fresh minced rosemary

1 tsp. fresh minced thyme

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp. maple syrup (I used local gallberry honey instead)

3 tsp. olive oil

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. After peeling and chopping the carrots, sweet potatoes and rutabaga, toss with 3 teaspoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Compost all the peelings, tops, and any other scraps!

Step 2: Spread the vegetables out on two baking sheets and make sure there is space between the veggies (so they will roast instead of steam). Bake for 35 minutes, flipping veggies half way.

Step 3: Once the veggies are finished, transfer to a blender. You will have to do this in 2-3 batches. Use about 1/3 to 1/2 of the vegetable broth each batch and blend to puree the roasted vegetable mixture until smooth.

Step 4: Pour the pureed roasted vegetables into a pot over medium heat. Add the coconut milk, syrup or honey, herbs and spices and stir continuously for 5-10 minutes.

Season to taste, and garnish with whatever you like! I added Parsley and Sriracha sauce.

To learn more about bike-powered food waste diversion in Gainesville, FL, click here.

Thanks for reading,
Krissy Olson

About the Author

Krissy studies Sustainability in the Built Environment at the University of Florida. Her love for organic gardening and support for local food systems grew through her studies and Community Supported Agriculture. Krissy is the Community Outreach Coordinator at Gainesville Compost.