Monday, February 7, 2011

Meatless Monday: Roasted Brussel Sprout Soup with Hazelnut Pesto

Even though I was out at a foodie event tonight, I have had this soup on my list of things to make for quite sometime and to dissuade the Boy from ordering in pizza, especially after last nights Superbowl pigout, I decided to make it this afternoon.  Without planning ahead I managed to have all of the ingredients on hand, which is what sealed the deal for me.  Generally if I'm going to make a meatless meal that I hope the boy will eat whether I serve it to him or not, it has to include pasta or potatoes and lots of cheese.  But this recipe stood out because he loves brussel sprouts and with the cream and the nutty pesto I knew I could get him to heat this up and eat pretty easily.

The original recipe called for vegetable or chicken stock, but since this is a Meatless Monday post I knew I'd be making it with veggie stock.  I've never made vegetable stock and for this soup, since I wanted it to be quick, I used my goto brand for stock, Kitchen Basics.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the rich color and flavor of the stock.  It was so dark that it looked like beef stock and if you buy the all-natural box it comes without salt, which is great for me since I prefer to exercise alot of control over the amount of salt I add while cooking.

Roasted Brussel Sprout Soup
adapted from iVillage Food
serve 4 as an entree

1 lb brussel sprouts
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
extra virgin olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup light cream
salt & black pepper
pinch nutmeg

1.  Preheat oven to 425F. Wash brussel sprouts, remove stems, tough outer leaves and cut in half.  Crush garlic cloves and remove skins.  Peel onions and cut into 10-12 chunks, so they are approximately the same size as the half sprouts.
2.  Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt & pepper, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and place into the oven to roast for 15 minutes, toss the vegetables twice while roasting.
3.  While roasting black vegetable stock and cream into a soup pot and heat gently over medium low heat.  When the vegetables are done roasting add them to the pot, bring to a boil over medium heat and then lower heat to low and simmer loosely covered for 20 minutes.
4.  Puree soup in a blender or food processor, add a pinch of nutmeg and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.

Hazelnut Pesto

1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
1 1/4 ounces parmigiano reggiano - cut into 4 chunks
1 clove garlic
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

1.  Place the first 3 ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until nuts and cheese begin to break down.  Stream in olive oil until as a nice chunk consistency (I pureed a bit too long).
2.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Serve with soup.

I had initially assumed the color of this would be a nice green and would look nice with the hazelnut pesto and was a bit disappointed with the brown color.  Not that it didn't look appetizing but it wasn't as photogenic as I had hoped.  I atribute this to the dark color of the flavorful stock and the brown bits of veggies from roasting them first.  To me that lovely brown color means flavor and often times the most flavorful meals aren't the most photogenic.

This soup came together so easily and is so tasty.  I tried it after taking the pictures and was beyond thrilled with the flavors.  I don't love brussel sprouts unless they're paired with bacon, but the rich soup with the nutty pesto made for a really pleasing combination.  I can't wait to eat some of this tomorrow for lunch.


No comments: