A cornucopia of seasonal flavors comes together in this creamy vegetarian soup. It’s homey, yet you can serve it to the most sophisticated palates in your best china or rustic soup bowls. It gets a double hit of fresh-pressed olive oil, which is used in the vibrant, herbaceous pesto as well as the soup.
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 cups vegetable broth, plus more if needed
- 3 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (3 or 4 potatoes)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pinch cayenne, or to taste
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- One 14-ounce can full fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 8 ounces burrata cheese
For the pesto:
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chopped Tuscan kale
- 1/4 cup shelled green pistachios, toasted
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and hot red
- pepper flakes
Make the pesto: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the sage and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant and crisp. Remove from the heat.
In a food processor, pulse together the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil, the kale, pistachios, and Parmesan until finely chopped. Add the sage and season to taste with salt and hot red pepper flakes. Pulse to combine.
Make the soup: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and butter and cook another 30 seconds. Pour in the broth. Add the sweet potatoes, cayenne, nutmeg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup directly in the pot until smooth. (Alternatively, use a blender to puree the soup in batches.) Stir in the coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of the sage pesto and cook another 5 minutes. If the soup is too thick, thin with additional broth.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Swirl each bowl of soup with a spoonful of the sage pesto. Break the burrata and spoon some over the top of the soup.
Serves 6 — Recipe from halfbakedharvest.com
The appeal of this autumnal soup lies in its simplicity. The sweetness of the butternut squash is enhanced by roasting and by the addition of a small amount of maple syrup.
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
- 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 cup chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot bulb)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or brown sugar, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 to 4 cups rich vegetable broth, as needed
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the cut sides (about 1 tablespoon). Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash cut sides down and roast until it is very tender and cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes (don’t worry if the skin or flesh browns—that’s good for flavor). Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Transfer the contents to your blender.
Use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into your blender. Discard the skin. Add the
maple syrup, nutmeg, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to the blender. Pour in 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth, being careful not to ll the container more than halfway. Work in batches unless you have a high-capacity blender.
Securely fasten the lid and top with a folded dish towel. Hold down firmly. Blend on high, being careful to avoid hot steam escaping from the lid. Stop once your soup is ultra-creamy. Return to the saucepan and reheat, if necessary, over medium-low heat, stirring often.
If you would like to thin your soup a bit, stir in the remaining cup of broth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of
olive oil and blend well. Taste, and stir in more salt and pepper, if necessary. (Note: The soup can be
cooled, covered, and refrigerated at this point for up to 2 days.)
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from cookieandkate.com
Fresh tomatoes usually get all the love, obscuring the fact that canned tomatoes, preserved at their peak in their own juices, are wonderful, too! This soup, though made of humble ingredients, is transformed when drizzled with exquisitely fresh olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, with juices
- 2 sprigs fresh basil, plus torn leaves for serving
- 1/3 pound (about 6 ounces) fresh or stale rustic bread, crusts removed, torn or cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cups warm vegetable or chicken stock, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic just begins to turn golden. Add the onion and cook, stirring, just until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices, along with the basil sprigs, and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the bread. Ladle the stock on top, stirring to combine. Simmer the soup, adding more stock as needed, until the bread is completely softened and custardy and soup has thickened to a porridge-like consistency, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard the basil sprigs.
Divide the soup between four bowls, generously drizzle the soup with olive oil, and grind black pepper on top. Garnish with torn basil leaves and serve.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from seriouseats.com
Like a refined version of gazpacho, this soup is refreshing and can be served as a starter or light main course. Make the soup and the herbed crème fraîche a day ahead of time, if desired, and refrigerate. (Let the crème fraîche come to room temperature before serving.)
- 4 pounds tomatoes, quartered and seeded
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped tarragon, plus tarragon leaves for garnish
Working in a blender in 2 batches, puree the tomatoes with the vegetable broth, olive oil, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and sugar until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche with the chopped tarragon and season with pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with a dollop of the crème fraîche, garnish with the tarragon leaves, and serve.
Serves 6 — Recipe from foodandwine.com