Parsnip Soup with Cashew Basil Purée

April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Seeing as the season for parsnips is slowly coming to a halt & they are my favorite winter root vegetable, I had to post a parsnip recipe. The parsnips I used in this soup were straight from the farmer’s market & I couldn’t have asked for anything any better tasting!

Similar to the Butternut squash soup, this is easy and delicious. The first time I made this soup I made the mistake of not peeling the parsnips and using potato as a thicker. The soup came out a bit sour for my liking so I changed a couple of things. Usually when I make parsnips I roast them with the peel on & they end up being delectable, so begin a creature of habit, I didn’t peel them for the soup. When I tried it again, I swapped flour for the potatoes & peeled the parsnips. Just changing those little things yielded a big improvement in the flavor.

Parsnip Soup:  1 white onion, cubed,   3 large parsnips, peeled & cubed into 1/2 inch pieces,  3 cloves of roasted garlic,  4 cups of organic vegetable (or chicken) stock,  1/4 cup all-purpose flour (sweet rice flour would probably work as a GF alternative), 2 Tbsp Ghee (or butter),  1/2 tsp nutmeg & dried thyme & olive oil

Cashew Basil Purée:  1 cup basil,  1/4 cups raw cashews,  1/4 cup olive oil,  1 tsp fine grain sea salt & black pepper

Soup: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap whole garlic cloves in aluminum foil & roast for 20 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, add Ghee & onion to a medium sauce pan. Saute over medium heat until caramelized, then add parsnips. Add thyme. After 5-10 minutes, when parsnips have softened, turn down heat, add flour & season with salt & pepper. Mix thoroughly until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Add stock & simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

When the soup has thickened & all of the vegetables are soft, remove the skins from the roasted garlic & add the cloves to the soup. Purée soup in a blender (my preference) or food processor in small batches until smooth.

Transfer back to a clean sauce pot and season with nutmeg, salt & pepper.

Purée: Add all ingredients to a food processor & process until desired consistency. Top finished soup with a hefty scoop of  this creamy goodness.

When ready to serve, drizzle extra virgin olive oil into the soup to complement the already earthy flavor. If you have the opportunity, Great Harvest 9 Grain bread, dipped in olive oil & broiled until crunchy is the perfect accompaniment.

Enjoy!

Simple Squash Soup with Parsley Pecan Pesto

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Even if you normally don’t like butternut squash soup, I dare you to try this.

It is honestly a no fail. First off, I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like it (unless they just avoid telling my to my face, which could be possible). Secondly, the soup only calls for a mere handful of ingredients. Simple. Easy. Delicious.

The pesto is subtle, thanks to the parsley, so even if you’re not a pesto person, give it a shot.

Butternut Squash Soup:

1 large butternut squash, 1 large sweet white onion, 1 bag of frozen organic sweet corn, 2 Rapunzel organic vegetable bouillon, 4 cups of water*, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 2 tsp of ground nutmeg & black pepper to taste.

*If you prefer to use vegetable or chicken broth,  rather than bouillon & water, keep the measurement the same, using 4 cups of liquid.

Pesto:

1 bunch of fresh parsley, 1 cup fresh basil, 2/3 cup pecans, 2/3 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp ground black pepper, salt to taste.

Soup: Preheat oven to 400 on roast if possible.  Wash the butternut squash thoroughly & cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds & place squash on an oiled baking sheet with skin side up. When the squash is done roasting, usually about 30 minutes, you should be able to easily pierce it with a fork. The sugars from it will brown & collect on the baking sheet, when the time comes, these sugars should be scraped into the soup to add more flavor.

While the squash roasts, start preparing the remaining ingredients. In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic, brown making sure not to burn the oil. Add chopped onion & caramelize. When onions are soft & translucent add frozen corn, bouillon, and pepper. After corn has fully cooked, add water. Cover & bring to a  simmer.

When squash is finished roasting, cut into cubes and add to pot (I keep the skin of the squash, but you can’t tell either way once it has been pureed). Add squash “sugars” from the baking sheet. After 5 minutes of simmering, turn off heat & puree in a blender or food processor (I prefer blender). Once soup is a smooth uniform texture, return to the pot over low heat, stirring every couple of minutes. Add nutmeg.

Pesto: Spread pecans on a baking sheet (or tin foil) and roast them for 5 minutes. You will know when the pecans are done roasting by their taste. Roasting makes the pecans crunchier, and exaggerates their nutty-sweet flavor. Remove stems from the very bottom of the parsley & from the basil.  Add all ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top soup with pesto when serving.

This soup is perfect served with a warm crusty bread. It can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Enjoy.

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