Simple Parsnip and Ginger Soup

Parsnip and Ginger Soup. A simple, healthy soup topped with sliced almonds!

More soup! Yes, yes, yes.

It’s still freezing outside, I’m about to have my first wedding dress fitting on Thursday (!), and I’m all for weeknight meals that make great leftovers and are easy to throw together. Soups are totally my thing right now.

Ok, they have always been my thing, but my love for them has amplified exponentially in the last few weeks.

Parsnip and Ginger Soup. A simple, healthy soup topped with sliced almonds!

Since I’ve shared quite a few soup recipes in the last few months, I knew that I wanted to make my next one with an ingredient that has never graced itself on the blog in the entire five years of its existence!

You would think that list would relatively small at this point, but I’m constantly amazed by the plethora of ingredients, dishes, and possibilities ahead of me. It makes things pretty exciting.

But yes, back to the point. I have never shared one single recipe with parsnips in the past five years. In fact, I could probably count the number of times I’ve cooked or used parsnips in my kitchen on one hand.

Parsnip and Ginger Soup. A simple, healthy soup topped with sliced almonds!

As you can probably tell just from their appearance, parsnips are part of the carrot family, and are a classic winter vegetable perfect for roasting, pureeing into soups, using in desserts (think carrot cake!), or preparing as a side dish to any number of dishes.

Unlike carrots, they tend to be even sweeter in taste–as I often do when I approach a new ingredient, I used one of my favorite kitchen resources in the entire world, and discovered that parsnips contain much more starch than carrots.

Most of this starch is converted to sugar when they are exposed to cold temperatures, meaning that parsnips will vary a bit by taste depending on what time of the year you buy them at the grocery store! Cool, huh?

Parsnip and Ginger Soup. A simple, healthy soup topped with sliced almonds!

In fact, I find that parsnips cook a bit faster than carrots as well, which makes this soup recipe that much more weeknight-friendly!

This simple recipe just happens to be based on a recipe from the same vegetarian cookbook that I happened to gush all about in my last blog post. I made a few small tweaks to the recipe: the original recipe called for a relatively large amount of cayenne pepper (which I found to be way too spicy in the final product, despite the fact that I love all things spicy!). I also reduced the fresh ginger quantity by half, as I felt that it had the same effect.

This soup couldn’t be more simple to throw together! It’s creamy, sweet, yet has just enough spice and heat to make it balanced. It’s perfect paired with a few crunchy toasted sliced almonds and dollop of fresh cream as a garnish as well. Enjoy!

Parsnip and Ginger Soup. A simple, healthy soup topped with sliced almonds!

Simple Parsnip and Ginger Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 lb fresh parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • toasted sliced almonds, for garnish
  • heavy cream (or full-fat yogurt), for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, cardamom, cumin, and pinch of cayenne pepper (if using) and saute for 1 to 2 additional minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  3. Add the parsnips, and stir mixture together. Pour in the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer soup for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are very soft.
  4. Transfer soup to a blender (or alternatively, you can use an immersion blender), and puree until very smooth. Place soup back into pot, heat over low, stir in the milk, and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add a touch of hot water, or any leftover vegetable broth.
  5. Garnish soup with sliced almonds, and small dollop of cream or yogurt, and serve hot.

Recipe (barely adapted) from River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

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