Sometimes I create things that are just not as successful as others. Serving experimental dishes to family and friends opens up the possibility that not everyone is going to like what I put together. That's to be expected; we are all different and have various likes and dislikes. There are a few dishes and potential blog posts, that just didn't work out well for everybody. A soup I made up yesterday is an example. I liked it quite a bit, S had a bowl and a half, A was so polite but choose another direction after starting a bowlful, T didn't try it, N liked it pretty well and B wasn't sure (he is my husband so tries to be supportive of all of my experiments). Anyway, I am offering it today for those who might like to try something different, to experiment on palates near and far, because I liked it. This dish can be entirely vegan if you like, just skip the cheese part of the garnish.
5 cups sweet potato cubes, (about 1 pound)
1 cup sliced carrots, (about 1/4 pound)
1 cup diced parsnips, (about 1/4 pound)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
6 cups of water, (plus more to thin soup if desired)
1 cup blanched almonds, (see this post for the way to blanch your own almonds)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Optional: 1 cup grated Balsamic Bellavitano cheese, (or other nutty type such as Gruyere)
1/2 cup balsamic glaze, (see this post for a glaze that would work well)
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips on a roasting sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat and then roast for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place blanched almond in a food processor bowl and process until they are a fine meal texture. While processor is running, pour in remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons each, and the remaining salt. Process until mixture forms a ball then set aside. Bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add the roasted veggies and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Whisk in the almond mixture, mixing thoroughly, and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Thin soup with additional water if desired. To serve, top each portion with cheese, green onion and balsamic glaze.
The final texture of the soup is not smooth like a cream soup but has a bit of texture because of the almond meal. It is a thick, hearty soup and I think quite delicious. Not everyone agrees with me on that but you might. Please let me know if you do.