This roasted vegetable soup can be made vegan (omit the chicken) or with chicken.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread a little olive oil on a cookie sheet and toss the squash, onions and, if using, cauliflower in it. Sprinkle on some curry powder and a little bit of salt, if desired. Roast about 25 minutes, tossing once or twice, until soft.
In a soup pot, combine 6 cups of water and soup base (or use prepared broth), apricots, chickpeas, and roasted vegetables. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add more water, if needed.
Place the chopped pecans on a sheet and sprinkle with a little olive oil, some curry powder and nutmeg. Roast 4 – 5 minutes.
Blend a few cups of the vegetables with some of the broth and return the puree to the soup pot to thicken the soup.
IMPORTANT! Always use great caution when pureeing hot liquids. If you have time, allow the soup to cool before blending. Never fill the container more than half full and cover the lid with a folded kitchen towel and hold it in place before you turn on the blender. The initial surge of the blender's contents can cause the lid to pop open, possibly scalding you if still hot and certainly making a mess of your kitchen.
Serve garnished with chopped parsley and toasted pecans.
Coat the chicken lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle on a little curry powder, salt and pepper. Bake the chicken while the squash is in the oven until just done, about 15 minutes. Slice.
Serve on top of the soup with parsley and pecans. (#730)