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Roast Vegetable Medley with Sun-Dried Tomato Bread

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Serves: 4

4 parsnips, quartered lengthways
2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
4 carrots, thickly sliced
2 leeks, thickly sliced
1 small swede, cut into bite-size pieces
4 potatoes, cut into chunks
60ml / 4 tbsp olive oil
few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 garlic bulb, broken into cloves, unpeeled
1 litre / 1 3/4 pints vegetable stock
salt and ground black pepper
fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish

For the sun-dried tomato bread:
1 ciabatta loaf, about 275g / 10 oz
75g / 3 oz butter, softened
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
30ml / 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas 6 Cut the thick ends of the parsnip quarters into four, then place them in a large roasting tin (pan). Add the onions, carrots, leeks, swede and potatoes, and spread them in an even layer.

Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables. Add the thyme sprigs and the unpeeled garlic cloves. Toss well to coat with oil and roast for about 45 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and slightly charred.

Meanwhile, to make the sun-dried tomato bread, cut diagonal slits along the loaf, taking care not to cut right through it Mix the butter with the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and parsley. Spread the mixture into each slit, then press the bread back together. Wrap the loaf in foil and bake for 15 minutes, opening the foil for the last 5 minutes. Discard the thyme from the roasted vegetables. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins over the vegetables.

Process about half the vegetables with the stock in a food processor or blender until almost smooth. Pour into a pan and add the remaining vegetables. Bring to the boil and season well with salt and black pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh thyme leaves. Serve the hot bread with the soup.

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