Warm and satisfying, soup is my ultimate comfort food.  Whether it’s a hearty and chunky classic like Pasta e Fagioli, or thick and creamy Avocado Bisque, soup is the perfect wintertime meal.  And as a self-proclaimed soup fanatic, I’m always looking for new combinations to gratify my craving of the one-pot wonder. It was in this pursuit of new flavors for soup combinations that I found my new favorite, Roasted Vegetable Soup.  Not only does this recipe make use of the plentiful winter vegetables of the season, but it also uses up my leftovers – wouldn’t my frugal Yankee grandmother be proud! The best vegetables to use in making a roasted medley, a precursor for the soup, are: carrots, parsnips, winter squash, turnip, celeriac and potatoes (white, gold, red and/or sweet).  While some root vegetables may not be the most flavorful when simply boiled, roasting brings out the natural sweetness of these nutritious powerhouses. Since I always make a full tray of these, and most of the time I only use about half for our dinner, I have the perfect amount of leftovers to make the soup! Roasted Vegetable Soup Ingredients: 2 cups leftover mixed roasted vegetables** 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon dried sage ½ teaspoon dried thyme pinch of nutmeg salt and pepper to taste Directions: In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer.  Add vegetables, bay leaf, sage and thyme.  Continue to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf, add nutmeg and if needed, add salt and pepper. Puree the soup with a blender, a food processor or an immersion blender.  If using blender or food processor, blend half at a time, to avoid steam build-up. Optional garnishes:  garlic croutons, dollop of plain yogurt, fresh chopped sage  —Enjoy! **To make the roasted vegetables: Peel and cut 5 cups of your favorite root vegetables and winter squash into 1-inch cubes and put them in a large bowl.  Into the bowl, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle about a teaspoon each of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, a clove or two of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of dried herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary or a combination of the three).  Lay them on a baking sheet and roast in a 425 degree oven for 25 – 35 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. —Karen

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