Every time I step into my friend Chiara’s home, the aroma of some expertly, authentically cooked Italian meal graciously greets me at the door. I pester her mother to reveal her secrets, and the following recipe is the first successful response I received. And of course, I’m going to share it with the whole Internet. Proportions are vague, but it’s hard to go wrong using seasonal veggies.
3 lbs of mixed root vegetables, in equal parts: turnips, parsnips, celery roots, rutabaga, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots (important for sweetness)
Olive oil – enough to coat vegetables
Herbs of your choice (rosemary, thyme, basil are good to start with)
6 cloves of garlic
1 big shallot
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean, peel, and chop veggies into 1 inch cubes. Double wrap in aluminum foil, adding olive oil, herbs, garlic, shallot, salt and pepper. Place in pan and roast at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, mixing once, until fork tender.
Once slightly cooled (soup can even be made a day or so after you roast the veggies) place in pot with enough vegetable stock to cover vegetables. Cook over medium heat to soften further. Then, puree!
Suggested toppings: roasted chestnuts and sweet potato chips.
Best eaten: outside on a brisk afternoon complete with sweaters, falling leaves, and catching up with old friends.