Roasted Winter Vegetable and White Bean ChowderPhoto Credit : Michael Piazza | Styling by Liz Neily
Linda Jeffers Coombs is an author and historian from the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) on Martha’s Vineyard. “A staple of our dishes was corn and beans,” she says, “and you could make a soup or a stew with that, and add meat or any kind of shellfish, such as quahogs and clams.” This vegetarian variation on chowder pays homage to the indigenous peoples of New England. In the summer and early fall, I make it with corn so that it contains the “three sisters” ingredients: beans, corn, and squash.
2½ cups diced butternut squash
2½ cups sliced carrots
2 cups diced russet potatoes
1 cup sliced parsnips
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
5 fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour (all-purpose or gluten-free)
8 cups vegetable stock
2 (14-ounce) cans cooked white beans, drained
2 cup sliced mushrooms, any kind
2 cups milk of your choice (whole milk, unsweetened almond milk, and unsweetened soy milk are all good)
Fresh thyme springs and ground paprika or smoked paprika, for garnish
Heat your oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and fennel with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Divide these vegetables between two large rimmed baking sheets and roast until tender and browned, about 40 minutes, turning them a few times while roasting.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the soup base. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, celery, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, black pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the stock and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and milk, bring to a simmer, and stir in the roasted vegetables. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve hot, garnished with fresh thyme sprigs and a sprinkle of paprika.