Roasted Vegetable Soup

Have an under-the-weather Patrick? Feed him this! This soup is the guinea pig for the new slow cooker. The recipe comes from my new Art of the Slow Cooker cookbook. Here's the recipe with my notes following in red.

Roasted Vegetable Soup
2 onions, cut into 1-inch dice*
2 carrots, peeled and cut 1-inch sticks*
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices*
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice*
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares*
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice*
8 white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered*
4 large cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled*
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 can (about 15 ounces) diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted, with their juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon  dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
3 tablespoons couscous, preferably whole-wheat

Preheat an oven to 425F. Toss the onions, carrots, celery, turnip, bell pepper, sweet potato, mushrooms, and garlic with the olive oil on a large rimmed sheet pan. Spread into an even layer and roast for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned at the edges.

The tosser!
Look at all the pretty colors!

Scrape the vegetables into a 5- to 6- quart slow cooker. Pour 1 cup of the vegetable broth onto the sheet pan and scrape up any browned bits clinging to it; scrape into the cooker. Add the remaining 5 cups broth, the diced tomatoes and their juice, the salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme. Cover the cooker and cook for 2 to 3 hours on high, or 4 to 6 hours on low, until the flavors are blended.

Stir in the parsley and couscous and cook for 5 more minutes.

Notes: Roasting the vegetables definitely adds a lot of flavor. For a little extra flavor I tossed with olive oil and Mrs. Dash. After I scraped mine into the crockpot there was only a little bit of browned bits in the corner... not even enough to pour broth over and scrape up so I omitted that step. 
These directions are verbatim from the cookbook so I'm not really sure what happens to the whole, unpeeled garlic. It seemed odd to me to have unpeeled garlic in the final product so I ended up peeling the garlic and crushing it with the vegetables. In the future I will slice it. 
Once I got to the final 5 minutes and went to add the couscous I realized it was only 3 tablespoons. Patrick and I discussed this and didn't think 3 tablespoons couscous would add a lot of depth to the recipe so we opted out of the couscous and just had a plain veggie soup!
To add some heat, Patrick recommends a few squirts of Sriracha in your bowl.

*There was a note at the end of the recipe that stated you could substitute any vegetables to your taste just make sure to keep the volume of vegetables about the same. Therefore I used:
2 onions
3 carrots
0 celery
1 medium turnip
1 bell pepper
2 small sweet potatoes 
1 8 oz pkg of white mushrooms

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