Spiced Roasted Roots Soup with Chickpea Croutons

I just made this soup today, and it was so nice that we ate it all straight away!  So I thought I’d share the recipe.  I hadn’t made soup in a while, but it’s getting colder here now, so felt like a good day for it.  The spices and coconut milk make it really nice and comforting and warming for autumn time, and the chickpea croutons make it more filling and nourishing.

Síofra loved it and it’s nice and nutritious for babies and young kids.  I just broke a bagel up and dipped it in the (cooled) soup, for her to feed herself with.  Perfect for baby led weaning!  But put a bib on babies for this one because the turmeric will stain clothes!  The kids have had a bit of a cold lately so hopefully all the veggies and healthy spices help them to recover.

The recipe might look long, but it’s actually fairly simple and is quick once the veggies are roasted.  I used carrot and parsnip but I think it’d also be really nice with just sweet potato or a mix of different root veg like swede, celeriac, etc. too. whatever you have!  Also, if you don’t have some of the spices, you can leave them out or try different ones, it really doesn’t matter too much, I just used what I happened to have and thought would be nice.

As usual I didn’t add salt while cooking because I don’t like the kids to eat too much salt, but I like to add salt to my own portion afterwards.

 

Ingredients:

Serves 4

For the soup:

About 500g of root vegetables (I used 2 large carrots and 2 medium parsnips, but this would be good with sweet potato, swede, celeriac, etc. too.)

5 cloves of garlic

Extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp cumin seeds

Half a stick of cinnamon (or about 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)

2 bay leaves (optional)

Pinch of chilli flakes

1 tin of coconut milk

1/2 tsp ground ginger (or some fresh grated ginger)

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

Vegetable stock or water

Sea salt (optional, I left it out of the kids’ portions)

For the chickpea croutons:

1 tin of chickpeas

1 tsp cumin seeds

Extra virgin olive oil

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Peel (if necessary) and roughly chop the vegetables into roughly 2cm X 2cm pieces.  Place on a baking tray with 5 whole unpeeled cloves of garlic, sprinkle with some black pepper and drizzle with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Toss them to coat them in the oil, and roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, stirring them once or twice during the cooking time.

Once the vegetables are in the oven, drain and rinse the tin of chickpeas.  Spread them out on another baking tray with 1 tsp of cumin seeds and some black pepper, drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and stir to coat it.  Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes so that they are done at about the same time as the vegetables.

Meanwhile, place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add the cumin seeds, chilli flakes, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and stir.  Heat gently while stirring for a few minutes without letting them burn.

Add the coconut milk, turmeric, and ginger to the sauce pan, and about 1 cup of vegetable stock or water.  Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, and then simmer gently over a low heat while the vegetables are roasting.  Just before adding the vegetables, remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves from the saucepan and discard.

When the vegetables are done, remove the garlic from the roasting tray and leave to cool enough to handle.  Add the vegetables to the saucepan.  Pop the garlic cloves out of their skins and add them to the soup, discarding the skins.  Then use a hand blender (or allow the soup to cool a bit and use a jug blender) to blend the soup until fairly smooth.  If it needs more water/stock then add a little more, or if it’s too thin then let it simmer for a while.

Serve the soup with the roasted chickpea croutons sprinkled on top.  The croutons are also lovely sprinkled on top of salads or stir fries, etc.

 

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