Roasting Vegetables for Soups, Sauces, and Beyond

vegetables for roasting

Last weekend when I cleaned out the refrigerator, I found out how very many vegetables I had that needed attention. I decided that the best course of action was to roast them and make a sauce out of them.

I did this last summer when I became overwhelmed with eggplants, yellow squash, and zucchini. Then all winter, I smuggled vegetables into my family’s dinner without their knowing it.

Oh yes, yes, I did.

I’ve done this with winter squash, too. Super yummy and an easy way to get your people to eat their veg without putting up a fight.

First, get out your vegetables, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grab a large rimmed baking sheet, too. Ready, let’s go. eggplant and squash to roast

Once you’ve trimmed the vegetables and split or sliced them, lay them out in a single layer. You can do this with peppers, onions, tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant, and probably other things, too.

Drizzle them with olive oil — I used 1/2 cup for this batch — and season them generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Slide the pan into a 400 ° oven and roast the vegetables for 30 to 45 minutes. Watch to make sure they don’t char.

This is what mine looked like when they were done:

Roasted Squash & Eggplant

These are great to eat as is. The roasting caramelizes the vegetables and gives them great flavor. Chop them and toss into salads, layer onto pizzas, sneak into lasagna.

If you want to be more stealth, make a sauce out of them.

roasted vegetables in pot

Toss them in a pot and scrape all the juices from the baking dish into the pot as well. You can add a bit of water or a can of tomatoes, whichever you like. Throw in a bay leaf and a few cloves of garlic, too, if you want. Simmer it all for about 30 minutes.

Then grab the immersion blender and smooth it all out. The vegetables will have softened further upon simmering and will be very soft and blend quite easily.

roasted vegetable sauce

The immersion blender is one of my favorite tools  – and you know how I love small kitchen appliances! It does a great job of smoothing things out without having to dirty another dish.

Now, you have a veggie-rich sauce to stir into soups, chiles, sauces, and casseroles. It adds flavors and nutrients that no one will notice, but will still be really good for them.

I’ll be sharing some recipes for using Roasted Vegetable Puree in the coming months. So, go make a batch and stash it in the freezer!

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Comments

  1. This sounds amazing! Looking forward to the recipes you post for this :)

  2. I do the same thing, Jessica…such a great way to use things up and get those veggies into my kids. Looking forward to your recipes about how you use this. I’d love some new ideas. Isn’t it great to know you used all those lingering veggies up. They make me feel all guilty in the fridge and pantry until I do!! lol

  3. Michelle K says:

    Could you use this as a sauce on pasta instead of using tomato sauce?

  4. Looks very good!! Did you ever try just freezing the roasted vegetables (before making the puree)?? I have plenty of summer vegetables that need to be preserved! Thanks

    • I haven’t, but I think it should be fine. Just cool completely and wrap well. They might get softer, so keep that in mind.

  5. Wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Just ran across this & will definitely be trying it! Could you please post links to the recipes that use the sauce? Thx!

    • I haven’t posted them because they are kind of non-recipes. Last week I added 1 pound of cooked, hot sausage to 3 cups of sauce plus 1 to 2 teaspoons Jamie’s Spice Mix and used it in lasagna. It was amazing. Other times I add some petite tomatoes to make it look more like tomato sauce and add Italian seasonings and just serve it on pasta. :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] There are also lots of other ways to do up vegetables besides cooking them as a side dish. Consider blending them into a soup, tossing them in salads, folding them into quesadillas or enchiladas, stirring them into sauces, or just plain hiding them. […]

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