Pascale's kitchen: Veggies and soups for autumn weather

This week I’ve chosen to offer you two recipes for roasted vegetables and two recipes for hearty winter soups.

 Sweet potato and pumpkin soup (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Sweet potato and pumpkin soup
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

I absolutely love this time of year. The weather is slowly getting more chilly, and we’re gearing up to change our clocks to wintertime. It’s finally cool enough outside to go back to making delicious rich soups.

It doesn’t even matter which soup you prepare, as long you use the right type of ingredients and apply the correct technique. Actually, you can just use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge, and just add root vegetables like kohlrabi or parsnip, or legumes such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, barley, wheat, dried peas or rice.

The best way to ensure that you are getting enough vitamins and minerals is to use a variety of vegetables with different textures and colors.

I love grilling vegetables in the oven and serving them as a side dish alongside a beef or chicken main dish. And if you’re pressed for time, you can peel and chop your vegetables the day before. Just make sure to cover them with water and store them in the fridge in an airtight container.

This week I’ve chosen to offer you two recipes for roasted vegetables and two recipes for hearty winter soups. If you’d like to add even more flavor to the bean soup, you can add two or three marrow bones. The aroma that will flow through your house when you prepare any of these recipes is absolutely amazing, and will bring all the members of your household running to the kitchen to find out what smells so good.

Sweet potato and pumpkin soup

Make 6-8 servings.

250 g pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into large pieces250 g extra-large sweet potato, cut into large pieces2 large carrots, cut into large pieces1 kohlrabi or turnip10 cups water8 cloves of garlic, crushed1 tsp. salt½ tsp. pepper1 tsp. cumin½ tsp. coriander seeds, ground

2 tsp. flour, siftedGarnish:1 tsp. coarsely ground chili peppersOlive oil for drizzling

Place the vegetables in a large pot and pour the water over them. Bring to a boil over a medium flame. Cook for 20 minutes until vegetables have softened.

Add the garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and flour. Stir and bring back to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes.Blend the vegetables in a blender or with an immersion blender. Cook another 5-10 minutes over a low flame.Sprinkle olive oil and ground chili peppers on top and serve hot.Level of difficulty: Easy.

Time: 1 hour.Status: Pareve.

White bean soup

Makes 6-8 servings.

500 g (3 cups) white beans, soaked in water overnight and then drained10 cups water1 large onion, chopped finely2 carrots, halved2 stalks of celery, cut into 3cm pieces3 ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces2 heaping Tbsp. tomato paste6 Tbsp. olive oil1 tsp. salt½ tsp. pepper1 tsp. sugar2 dried peppers2 Tbsp. chicken soup powder2 Tbsp. onion soup powder4 basil leaves2 marrow bones (optional)Garnish:Parsley or basil leaves

 White bean soup (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) White bean soup (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Place the beans in a large pot and add the water. Bring to a boil over a medium flame. Remove the foam that has gathered on top.

Add the rest of the ingredients, mix, and bring back to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for 2.5 – 3 hours.Adorn with parsley or basil leaves and serve hot with fresh bread.

Level of difficulty: Easy.Time: 2-3 hours.Status: Pareve (or meat if you use marrow bones).

Carrots with thyme and sumac

This is a great side dish to serve at festive meals. It works best if you use thin, long carrots, but any carrots will work just fine, so long as you cut them lengthwise.Makes 6-8 servings.

6-7 carrots, quartered and cut lengthwise8 thyme leaves3 heads of garlic, halved horizontally2 tsp. sumac2-3 Tbsp. olive oilSalt and pepper, to taste½ cup brown sugar1 Tbsp. pomegranate syrup1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

 Carrots with thyme and sumac (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Carrots with thyme and sumac (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Preheat your oven to 200°. Place the carrots, thyme leaves, garlic, sumac, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Transfer to a baking pan, cover, and place in the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 180° and bake for 30 minutes until carrots have softened.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, pomegranate syrup and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over the carrots. Cook for another 5-7 minutes so the carrots have time to caramelize.

Level of difficulty: Easy.Time: 1 hour.Status: Pareve.

Vegetables with rosemary

Makes 6-8 servings.

Olive oilKosher saltPepper2 onions, sliced4 tomatoes, sliced2 light green zucchini, sliced2 carrots (or 1 sweet potato), sliced into rings150 g pumpkin, sliced6 prunes, pitted and halved8 cloves of garlic, sliced2 chili peppers, sliced3 potatoes, sliced2 bell peppers, cut into rings2 sprigs of thyme3 sprigs of rosemary or oregano2 Tbsp. honey or silan

 Vegetables with rosemary (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Vegetables with rosemary (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a baking dish and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 180°.On the right side of the pan, arrange overlapping layers of onion, half of the tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and pumpkin. Add the prunes, half of the garlic, chili and thyme on top.

On the left side of the pan, arrange overlapping layers of potatoes, bell peppers and the second half of the tomatoes. Add the rest of the garlic and the rosemary on top.

Drizzle olive oil and honey or silan on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and broil for 50-60 minutes until the vegetables have reached the desired softness.

Level of difficulty: Easy.Time: 1 hour.Status: Pareve.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.