Parsnips - Perfect for Soup on a Cold Rainy Day

                   Photo credit:  Sydney Andresen

                   Photo credit:  Sydney Andresen

It's going to rain this week in SoCal.  And there's never been a better time for soup.  Prepare for the rains with the following recipe.  It features an often overlooked little root veggie known as the parsnip.  

About the Parsnip

You may have run across them in your great aunt's stew. Frisky was bold enough to call them the "new kale," but what isn't these days? I digress.

Parsnips. The good:  they are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer functioning vegetables high in Vitamin C and rich in B complex vitamins and minerals. They also pack a punch high in the fiber category. The bad:  on the sweeter side, they contain more sugar than carrots and turnips. I really think the high levels of phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber outweigh any issues from the higher sugar content. Let's be reasonable. It's not as if you're gobbling down the equivalent of a Snicker's bar, for goodness sake.  

We found our parsnips at the Hollywood Farmers Market this weekend. But I've seen them all lonely, tucked away in a corner at Gelson's, Sprouts, Bristol Farms, and Whole Foods. They're just waiting for you to give them a try.  

About the Soup

Modified from a recipe posted on the BBC's Good Food section who pulled it from Good Food Vegetarian Christmas magazine, an array of spices ~ turmeric, cumin, and coriander ~ are fused together to make a soup full of flavor and color so needed on a rainy or cold winter day. The vegetables are roasted together drawing out the sweetness and intensifying their flavor. We took it upon ourselves to garnish the soup with rosemary and saffron threads for extra color.  With this red and green adornment you could even serve the soup for Christmas dinner.   


Spicy Roasted Parsnip Soup (a modified version of the one from the BBC's Good Food)

The ingredients are surprisingly simple, as are the directions.  

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground coriander

    Just 8 ingredients (not pictured - chicken stock)

   Just 8 ingredients (not pictured - chicken stock)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1 pound parsnips, diced

2 tomatoes, quartered

30-40 ounces chicken or vegetable stock

Heat oven to 420 F. In a bowl, mix together the oil and spices. Pour oil and spices over vegetables and mix well. Spread vegetables over a heavy baking sheet (line it with aluminum foil for easy clean up), then roast for 30 mins until tender.  Take roasted vegetables from over and let cool. Then spoon 1/3 of vegetables into a food processor or blender with approximately one cup stock. Pour blended mix into soup pan and repeat process until all roasted vegetables have been blended with stock and smooth. Pour into a pan with any remaining stock, then heat until barely simmering. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with saffron threads and/or rosemary. Salt as needed.  

Serves 4. About 240 calories per serving.  

Look for future soup recipes on our blog featuring kabocha squash. In the meantime, stay warm and soup on.