For us, one of the best things about the holidays is entertaining friends and family that come by to celebrate. We love preparing delicious meals for guests. It is especially wonderful when we can use vegetables from our own garden. The following recipe is a for a delicious vegetable stew. If you do not have these vegetables from your garden, they should be very affordable at the grocery store because they are in season.
Naturescape’s Winter Vegetable Stew
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice (about 2 cups)
3 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch dice (about 1 cup )
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
1/2 fennel bulb, cut into quarters and sliced thin (1 cup)
1 teaspoon divided of coarse sea salt
5 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced into small pieces (2 cups)
2 tablespoons of white flour
4 cups vegetable broth (homemade or canned)
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4 pieces
5 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup milk or unsweetened plain almond milk for a vegan version
Additional salt & pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a bowl, toss the butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, and fennel with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet and roast until tender and browned in places, about 40 minutes, turning a couple of times while roasting.
When the vegetables are roasting, you should prepare the base of the soup. Put a large saucepan on low heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the diced onion along with a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
Stir the flour in and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in the vegetable broth. Add potatoes and the thyme. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Remove from heat.
Stir in the roasted vegetables. Carefully move about 3 cups of the broth into the pitcher of a blender. Puree it until smooth. Return the pureed broth to the pot and stir to combine. The soup should be thick and creamy.
Stir in the milk. Place the pot back on the burner, and, with the heat on medium-low, return to a simmer, stir it often to prevent burning.
Serve with an additional turn of cracked pepper and thyme leaves.