If you’ve never been quite sure what to do with those intriguing heads of romanesco broccoli then look no further than this roasted romanesco soup. A cousin of both broccoli and cauliflower, romanesco has a delicate nutty flavour that we’ve enhanced by pairing it with a garlicky pistachio pesto and crispy shards of savory prosciutto.

roasted romanesco soup with pesto and prosciutto |recipe from coco kelley

Pretty enough for a dinner party and filling enough with a hunk of bread for lunch or supper, this is just the sort of comfort food you need when the weather gods are in a bad mood.

roasted romanesco soup with pesto and prosciutto |recipe from coco kelley

Roasted Romanesco Soup with Parsley Pesto and Crispy Prosciutto // serves 4

To roast the romanesco
Four small heads of romanesco (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil for roasting
1 teaspoon salt
4 slices prosciutto

For the soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 large shallots
6 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

For the pesto
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large handfuls parsley (stalks removed)
½ cup pistachios
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon salt

roasted romanesco soup with pesto and prosciutto |recipe from coco kelley

Instructions // 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the leaves, chop the romanesco heads into 2 inch chunks, and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and swirl everything around with your hands until the romanesco is coated with oil. Place the oiled romanesco in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes until soft and golden, turning once halfway through.

At the same time, place the prosciutto on another baking sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes (depending on thickness) until golden, but not burnt. Keep an eye on this as it cooks quickly! When it’s cooked take it out of the oven, leave it on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes to crisp further and then crumble it into small pieces with your fingers. Place in a bowl and set aside.

In the meantime finely chop the garlic and shallots. Heat the olive oil and gently cook the garlic and shallots in a large saucepan until soft and slightly golden. Remove the roasted romanesco from the oven and add to the fried shallots and garlic, setting aside a few small florets for garnish.

Add the chicken stock and simmer everything together gently for around five minutes until the romanesco is very soft. Then, using an immersion blender (or ordinary blender), whiz the stock and vegetables together until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese.

roasted romanesco soup with pesto and prosciutto |recipe from coco kelley
In a food processor whiz the olive oil, parsley, pistachios and garlic into a pesto. Serve the soup in individual bowls, garnished with a swirl of pesto, the remaining roasted romanesco and a sprinkling of crispy prosciutto. Enjoy!

recipe and photography by food contributor paola thomas

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