Roasting the vegetables makes difficult-to-peel squash easier to work with. As well, along with fresh garlic, roasting sweetens and intensifies the flavour of root vegetables.
This is an easy-to-prepare soup which pairs nicely with a hearty bread and old cheddar or gruyere cheese. Very high in Vitamin A, dark orange vegetables are some of the super-star anti-oxidant foods which offer the body many protective health effects.
Squash, Parsnip and Carrot Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 acorn or hubbard squash (about two pounds), unpeeled and halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into eight pieces
4 parsnips, peeled, cut into two-inch pieces
4 carrots, peeled and cut into two-inch pieces
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
¼ cup water
1 medium onion, diced
1½ teaspoons thyme
4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1 cup milk
Freshly ground pepper
• Pre-heat oven to 375F.
• Spread one tablespoon of the oil in a roasting pan.
• Arrange squash pieces, skin side up, in prepared roasting pan.
• Add parsnips, carrots, garlic and ¼ cup water.
• Cover pan tightly with foil.
• Bake until vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes.
• Cool vegetables slightly.
• Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat remaining one tablespoon oil.
• Sauté onion and thyme until onions are golden (about five minutes) then remove from heat.
• Scrape peels off of the cooked squash.
• Put squash into food processor adding parsnips, carrots, garlic and onions/thyme.
• Pour half of chicken stock (or water/vegetable stock) into the food processor.
• Purée until smooth.
• Transfer squash-parsnip-onion purée into large saucepan.
• Add remaining stock whisking to re-heat gently.
• Whisk in milk and carefully heat; do not allow to boil.
• Season with salt and pepper.
• Garnish with parsley.