Roasting vegetables not only makes the kitchen smell great, it also concentrates their flavor. So anything roasted makes a great base for soups. The carrots here become rather sweet, which is why the slightly sour sumac is a great addition. This soup doesn’t need much else, except for salt and a little shallot. And olive oil of course. I also tried to incorporate the carrot greens by turning them into a tangy pesto. On their own they are a little bitter, but mixed with mint they taste fresh and bright. Carrot tops, like many other leafy greens (think beetroot, kohlrabi or radish) are often not even sold, although they are very nutritious. Maybe because it’s (falsely) assumed they are inedible? (Read this article here for some details). Parsley works as a substitute in this recipe, but I find it’s worth looking out for fresh, preferably organic carrots with greens and use them too.
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Recently I watched Gabrielle Hamilton make a particularly delicious-looking dish on ‘The Mind of a Chef’. She chargrilled aubergines over the open flame of a gas burner, then turned them into a simple but sumptuous spread with lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and freshly-baked flatbread. Around the same time a friend told me about an Ottolenghi/ Tamimi recipe for burnt aubergine soup. I decided to give those aubergines a try and ended up with this pumpkin-sweet potato-aubergine mix. It’s a warming, spicy and smooth soup, perfect for chilly autumn days. I didn’t dare roasting aubergines over the open flame in my kitchen but instead chose to grill them in the oven, which achieves – I find – the same result: the burnt aubergine has a light smokey flavor, which is a perfect complement to the sweetness of the pumpkin and the deep aroma of the za’atar. Try it, I’m sure you will love it!
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This is a seriously delicious soup. The limes, the taste of roasted garlic, some creaminess from the (also roasted) tomatoes, and the crispy tortilla strips together are true perfection, especially if you like sour things like I do. I used a recipe from saveur.com, but veganized it by using tofu instead of chicken, which is maybe a bit odd since sopa de lima is actually a traditional chicken (or, even more traditionally, turkey) soup from the Yucatan region of Mexico. In fact, it’s a recipe that goes back to Mayan times. But honestly, with all the strong flavors in this soup I find the protein is almost not needed, I just added the tofu to give it some bite.
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Sunchokes (Topinambur in German) are funny little creatures. They have a mildly sweet, nutty flavor with a hint of artichoke, which is how I think they got their name – actually they are a type of sunflower. When making this soup, make sure to use fresh sunchokes, they keep in the fridge only for a few days. In any case, the pairing with very bright citrus flavors works perfectly for the sunchokes, especially during this endless winter…
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The first snow, in Bavaria right after Christmas! Now we’re back to our typical grey rainy Berlin winter, but it was nice while it lasted. This is a soup I made during the holidays using celeriac, or celery root. I love that vegetable, even though it’s often overlooked. I paired it with pears here to add some freshness and acidity, because celeriac on its own can be a bit too earthy I find. The lemon juice and honey help to soften those flavors. Have this soup with some fresh baguette and a nice glass of crisp white wine…
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Ok, this is maybe not the most exciting dish, but it’s extremely comforting and has a great depth of flavor. It’s a very traditional thing to make, all year round, with the vegetables adapted according to the season. I must have eaten this a thousand times growing up but I still like it and should actually make it more often. It’s so healthy – filling but super light at the same time. The base is always the same: vegetable stock made from a bunch of stuff we call Suppengrün – carrots, an onion, a leek, celery root, celery leaves and parsley root. After that, it’s all optional and you can throw in whatever you have. It’s a perfect way to use up those leftover vegetables sitting in the fridge, too!
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This soup is absolutely delicious. It’s called mafé in West Africa. Peanuts and tomatoes together are somehow very comforting, maybe it’s the mix of acidity and sweetness? I used this recipe (with inspiring story) here as a start). I found it so interesting how the cabbage is sliced into quarters and eights so that the leaves stick together, instead of just chopping it up. It does stay nice and crunchy this way. But there are many different versions of this dish, so (almost) anything goes in terms of vegetable ingredients. Also, I made my own peanut-cashew butter -much easier than I thought! But ready-made peanut butter is totally fine, and in fact what most mafé recipes recommend. [Read more…] about Senegalese – inspired peanut and cashew soup with vegetables