One of the great surprises of my marriage (apart from the amount of sports that one can watch on television) was that there is a right way to make chicken soup. Chicken soup, according to my husband, has to be made with the contents of a cellophane wrapped package of vegetables--an onion, a few carrots, a parsnip, a turnip, an anemic piece of celery or two, a limp handful of dill. (For those of you who don't shop in Long Island grocery stores, I tried to find a little package and take a picture, but there were none to be had this close to the Jewish holidays. Think cellophane package of carrots, only with all the other stuff in it. It's called "soup greens." This is the only place I've seen it.)
My husband's version of chicken soup (and his sister's, his mother's and god knows how many generations before them) tastes really good -- even if the vegetables are of questionable quality--and the chicken broth infused vegetables are also delicious, wonderful, flavorful, a surprise.
So this year I decided to make roast vegetables flavored with chicken soup (instead of the other way around). But here's the great thing: There's not a right way to do this. You want to add garlic? Be my guest. Mushrooms? Fine. Vegetable stock instead? No problem. A little white wine? Sounds amazing.
1/2 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2 inch wedges
1 large onion, cut pole to pole and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2 inch pieces
lb carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2 inch pieces
1 small head celeriac, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2 inch pieces
1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2 inch pieces
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
~1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
~½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup rich chicken stock or 2 cups of good quality low sodium chicken broth
1-2 TB chopped fresh dill
½ fresh lemon (optional)
sprinkling of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper (optional)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Heat oven to 425. Toss onions and potatoes with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil so that they’re well-coated.
Roast in a single layer in a large baking pan for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and onions are slightly softened and browned.
Add the rest of the vegetables to the baking pan. Toss with another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, a little more salt, and a few grinds (about ½ teaspoon) of fresh-ground black pepper. Continue roasting for about 20-30 more minutes, stirring occasionally, till all the vegetables are softened.
If you’re using chicken broth, heat 2 cups of broth in a saucepan over high heat till it’s reduced to about ¼ cup. When I make chicken stock, I usually reduce it by at least half and store it concentrated in small containers in the freezer. If you’ve done that, you may not have to reduce it much for this recipe. You want a very concentrated chicken flavor.
When the vegetables have softened and slightly browned, sprinkle chicken stock and about a tablespoon of chopped dill over them, stir, and roast another 5-10 minutes till all liquid has evaporated and vegetables are soft and tender.
Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with more chopped dill. Add salt and/or pepper as needed. I like a squirt of lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper, but that’s not traditional, so do what you like. Serve hot.