I’ve never been a fan of winter, but I’m a huge fan of its vegetables. I’m a root and tuber girl. Parsnips, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes––I love them all!
Despite my aversion to winter weather, I do find it bittersweet when spring comes and I have to say goodbye to my favorite nourishing roots, and all of the nourishing dishes I make with them. (Although I never say goodbye to sweet potatoes, of course!)
Before Spring arrives I’m taking advantage of the last of the winter harvest. Today’s yummy vegan soup recipe was inspired by a recipe for parsnip & carrot curry with chickpea crepes that I created years ago [here’s a link to the recipe + cooking video]. This recipe is much simpler, but equally delicious and warming. I love parsnips in curry. The fat from the coconut milk works well with their earthiness, and pureed together they make an amazingly creamy vegan bisque.
Parsnips and carrots are pretty closely related. They look a lot alike––though one is cream colored, and the other usually orange––but their flavors are very different. Carrots are pumped with beta-carotene (the pigment that makes them orange), one of my favorite beauty antioxidants. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, beta-carotene (which is the precursor to Vitamin A) may be effective for reducing risk of breast cancer, keeping your eyes healthy, and protecting your skin from sun damage. Those are just a few of the health benefits. However, it’s important to consume beta-carotene through food, as supplemental dosage may be dangerous, and even raise risk of lung cancer. So eat your beta-carotene in your food, not in a pill.
Parsnips are a good source of potassium, manganese, and (when eaten raw) vitamin C. They also boast some fancy antioxidants that are anti-cancer, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. Many of the nutrients found in roots, and other veggies, are in the skin. Instead of peeling them, you can scrub them clean to reap more of the nutritional benefits. Like carrots parsnips are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Curried Parsnip & Carrot Soup
- 5 parsnips scrubbed and cut into ½-inch rounds
- 5 carrots scrubbed and cut into ½-inch rounds
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 2 clove garlic minced
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- ½ vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds for serving
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- In a large, deep pot heat coconut oil on medium heat. Add the curry powder to fry for about 30 seconds, then stir in the onions and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add parsnips and carrots along with the bouillon cube and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, and cook covered until vegetables are well cooked, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with more curry powder (start with 1 tsp), and the other half of the bouillon cube if necessary. Allow the soup to cool a bit before transferring it in batches to a blender/Vitamix to puree. If you have an immersion blender, use that to puree.
- Serve the pureed soup warm with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, black pepper, and cayenne for those who like a little more heat.