Chef Sarah Stegner of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, offers a seasonal vegetarian menu at all times. This is one of the most popular soups from her fall-winter menu.
1 ½ lbs. salsify, trimmed and peeled
2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup soy milk or dairy milk (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. In medium bowl, toss salsify with oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheet and roast until tender, about 30 minutes.
Chop roasted salsify into 1-inch pieces. Reserve 1/3 cup for garnish. Put remaining salsify into large pot. Add stock and thyme. Simmer over medium heat until heated through and flavors are blended, about 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and purée. Return to pot, add milk if desired and heat through. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with reserved salsify.