Total comfort in a bowl. That’s what this roasted winter vegetable soup is all about.
And we’ve needed a little dose of comfort food around here, because day after day has been seriously dreary. Pelting rain, sharp gusts, charcoal clouds, rivers filled to the brim.
Once every few days, the clouds part and the sun peeks through. Everyone rushes outside to put up holiday decorations or just turn their faces up to the sun for a moment before the marble-sized raindrops return. And before we know it, they do return.
And so: thank goodness for our toasty houses. Thank goodness for pine-scented candles and cheery Christmas lights and soft flannel pajama pants. Thank goodness for the oh-so occasional sun break. And thank goodness for cozy, comforting dishes. You know, like this one.
This hearty winter vegetable chowder features a dream-team of roasted vegetables: butternut squash, parsnips, fennel, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Onions and vegetable broth give the soup a great base of robust flavor (and the vegetable broth, of course, keeps it vegetarian).
Potatoes give the soup that signature chowder creaminess without adding fat. And the earthy fresh thyme complements all those wonderfully caramelized roasted veggies oh-so perfectly.
I just love thyme in creamy winter soups. I don’t think I could quit it if I tried.
So! Storm-a-brewing in your neck of the woods? Brew up some of this soup and serve it with some warm crusty bread and a simply-dressed green salad for dinner tonight.
Oh, and top your meat-eater’s serving with a little crumbled bacon if you like.
Rustic Roasted Winter Vegetable Chowder
- 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 dice) (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots (peeled, cut into 1-inch dice) (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 fennel bulb (quartered & sliced thin) (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons + 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 medium onion (diced) (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups vegetable broth (here's how to make your own with veggie scraps)
- 2 medium russet potatoes (peele, cut into 3/4-inch dice) (about 2 cups) (I've also used Yukon Golds, delicious and no need to peel!)
- 4-5 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 cup milk (I use 2%, but anything from nonfat to whole should work just fine or unsweetened plain almond milk)
- Additional salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- More pepper + thyme leaves for garnish
- Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, and fennel with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast until tender and browned in places, about 40 minutes, turning a couple of times while roasting.
- While the veggies are roasting, prepare the base of the soup. To a large saucepan over low heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion along with a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the vegetable broth. Add the potatoes and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat. Pick out the thyme stems and discard.
- Stir in the roasted vegetables. Carefully transfer about 3 cups of the chowder to the pitcher of a blender. Puree until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to the pot and stir to combine. The soup should be thick, rich, and creamy.
- Stir in the milk. Place the pot back on the burner, and, with the heat on medium-low, return to a simmer, stirring often to prevent burning.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve garnished with an additional turn of cracked pepper and thyme leaves. Sometimes, I'll reserve a few of the roasted veggies for garnish too.
Vegan/dairy-free option:Use unsweetened almond milk instead of dairy milk.
Meat option:Top with bacon.
Originally published December 3, 2012. Updated November 30, 2017.
I saw your soup on RecipeneZ and had to pop over to follow you. Your recipe sounds even better than the gorgeous picture. I love fennel and butternut squash. I shared on facebook with my “friends”. Would love for you to share on Thursdays Treasures. This weeks addition will open Wednesday at 8pm.
Hi Christie, thanks for visiting (and following, and sharing)! And thank you so much for the invitation. Looking forward to checking it out.
You roasted the vegetables! And THEN you put them in the soup! I love this. Love, love, love. This totally looks like a big bowl of comfort.
All those winter veggies were just staring me in the face, and it had to be done. 🙂
I neglected to mention in my post that I first made a winter vegetable chili with all those veggies (sans the fennel) and it … lacked pizzazz. That’s when I got the idea to roast them all first and try it that way, but then the nice hearty chowder idea took hold and wouldn’t let go.
You are right, this is totally comforting and delicious!
This looks perfect for a cold rainy day! I’m definitely trying this!!
Thank you! I just love the title of your blog, by the way. 🙂
Saw this on NoshOnIt and was very impressed. I’m also one half of a meat eater/vegetarian couple, but I’m the meat eater (and chef!). I’m really looking forward to reading more of your recipes!
This is a definite will-try (it’s still 80 degrees here, and I made roasted vegetables twice last week! I’m ready for Autumn!)
Just saw this via NoshOnIt! Love this winter vegetable chowder. . totally comfort in a bowl. love it!
Pingback: Vegetarian Freezer-Friendly Main Dishes — Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker
do you think this soup is freezable ??? …if any is left that is..;)
I made this over the weekend for my lunch all week. It is absolutely delicious! I couldn’t find a fennel bulb at Fred Meyer (probably because I have no idea what that is or what it looks like and it was a Sunday afternoon at Freddys so I had to get out of there asap) so I just left it out. I also didn’t have any fresh herbs (grocery list fail) so I used some poultry seasoning which was good. I added some celery at the end for a little extra texture. Mmmmmm its so tasty. My omnivore DH loved it, especially good for his sore gums after some dental work. This recipe is very easy to make on a weekend (a little too long with the roasting for a work night) and the leftovers are GREAT. Still trying to use up the rest of the rolls from Thanksgiving….
I just made this soup. I thought you were bat shit crazy putting fennel in a soup. This is the best soup I have ever made. Damn delish! Thanks for sharing!
Hahaha. Well I am kinda bat shit crazy for other reasons, but I guess not this one! 😉
OMG! This is, I believe, the best winter soup that I have ever made. Did not need to modify the receipt whatsoever. Wow, just wow. There is quite a bit of prep time–and worth every single minute.
Thanks so much for the glowing review! I’m so glad you like the recipe. 🙂
I went with the Unsweetened Almond Milk alternative and I added 1/4 jalapeno with the onion, and a little bit of cumin and chili powder at the end.
Soooo hearty, so delicious! It was perfect recovery food after shoveling snow all morning. Roasted veggies for the win!
I’m making this soup, which sounds wonderful, for a friend who has recently suffered a tragedy. Seems like the perfect comfort food on a New England’s winter night. My husband and I are going out of town and I have a good-sized leek and a small bunch of celery in the refrigerator. What do you think … can I include it in the soup/chowder? Also, I have several pieces of left-over cheese that may not make our three week departure. Would love to hear your feedback. Thank you. I’m going to be a consistent Kitchentreaty.com follower!
This is a fabulous soup. Just loaded with flavors! I followed the recipe as written but also included a leek and a couple of stalks of celery because they were in our refrigerator and I didn’t want to waste them. Frankly, the soup is so fabulous I’m not sure they made a difference. Thank you. I look forward to seeing more of your recipes!!
Kare, this sounds delicious! Can it b frozen or will the veggies just break down?
So good! I used an acorn squash because I already had one seeking purpose and tried it with the almond milk. Plant based hubby loved it.
Oh yum! Thanks so much, Pam!
This is now one of our FAVORITE vegetable soups. Very different from other veg soups and incredibly hearty and fulfilling. The only thing we did different was add one fresh bay leaf and a couple fresh sprigs of rosemary along with the thyme. Beautiful recipe!
Those herb additions sound delicious! Thank you so much for your lovely review. I’m so glad you like it! 🙂
This is the tastiest, heartiest soup ever. Very more-ish! I used celery as had no fennel, and it worked perfectly. It will now be a regular in my house.
I’m so glad you liked this one! Great tip about the celery. Thanks so much for coming back and leaving a review!
It’s so great!! I even added some shredded chicken and it is FANTASTIC! Very hearty and very filling, will be making this again!
I made this Rustic Roasted Winter Vegetable chowder.
It’s absolutely delicious!!!
So happy I doubled the recipe.
We love this recipie! Our go to whenever we have soup ♥️