This delicious, earthy "white" soup can be made as a vegetarian or vegan option. It is also Gluten-Free.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper.
Toss the 3 chopped garlic cloves, leek, potatoes, and rutabaga with olive oil. Sprinkle reasonably generously with salt (I use gray salt--it's fabulous) and cracked pepper.
Place vegetables in the oven and roast until al dente, about 45 min. When they are finished cooking, take them out of the oven to rest for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, make the parsley crema sauce. Place all ingredients for this garnishing sauce in a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust texture by adding more half-n-half and/or olive oil if necessary in micro amounts until you have the texture you want. I prefer it a little thinner than pesto. Adjust salt to personal preference.
Then, while vegetables are still cooking, crisp the shallots. Place shallots in a frying pan (I prefer a cast iron pan) with olive oil. Fry until shallots are crispy brown, about 10 min. Using a slotted spoon, place shallots on a plate lined with paper towel.
Then, while vegetables are cooking or resting, chop your onion and saute it in a little olive oil in a dutch oven (or soup pot), along with bay leaf, cumin seed, caraway seed, and fennel. Saute over medium heat until onion is starting to get translucent, about 10 min. If vegetables are still cooking, turn off the heat until they're ready and have had a few minutes to rest.
Add cooked and rested roasted root vegetables to the onion/spice saute (and, turn the heat back on to med. if you've turned it off). Stir for a few minutes to let the flavors mingle.
Add stock (1 and 1/2 quarts for a thicker soup; 2 quarts if you'd like to thin it out a bit. I used 2 quarts) and stir.
Bring to a soft boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 min.
Turn off the heat for a few minutes to let the soup rest. Then, pour about half of it into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add blended soup back into the unblended soup. Stir well and reheat as necessary.
Adjust salt and pepper to personal preference. Bowl up. Drizzle each soup-filled bowl with a little bit of parsley crema and some crispy shallots. (In these images, I also added a touch of olive oil and a little chopped radicchio). Enjoy :)