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Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

If you can’t find celery root, use 3/4 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced, and 1 to 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces. Arrange on the baking sheet with the other vegetables and roast as directed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small heads celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 large leeks, white portion only, halved lengthwise and rinsed
  • 1 garlic head, top one-third cut off
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. vermouth or brandy
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Directions:

Roast the vegetables
Preheat an oven to 325°F.

Arrange the celery root, parsnips, leeks (cut side down) and garlic (cut side up) in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the olive oil, herbes de Provence and a little salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. Turn the garlic and the vegetables over, cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and continue to roast until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes more.

Puree the soup
Squeeze the pulp from the garlic into a food processor or blender, discarding the skins. Add the rest of the roasted vegetables in batches and process to a coarse puree.

Transfer the puree to a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Add the vermouth, half-and-half and broth, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).