I feel that parsnips are really an underrated vegetable. I can’t remember anyone ever mentioning to me that their favorite vegetable was the parsnip. I have to say that until recently, I probably fell into that camp. It’s not that I hated parsnips or anything, but they were an afterthought than a main idea. A couple of weeks with a bounty of parsnips in our CSA (community supported agriculture) farm share has changed my mind. Parsnips are delicious. They are nutty and sweet without being all cloying like the carrot. I’ve made it a point to come up with a few meals that make the parsnip the star.
For one such meal, I decided to make some Creamy Parsnip Soup. I used my standard ‘No-Cream Creamy Soup’ recipe, which actually uses cashews as the creamy base, and it came out scrumptiously! Paired along with a simple spinach salad, it made an absolutely perfect dinner for the mister and I.
‘Creamy’ Parsnip Soup
2 tablespoons of butter or oil
3-4 shallots, chopped
4-5 parsnips, coarsely chopped (and peeled too)
1 potato, also coarsely chopped and peeled. gold or red potatoes are best, I think
4 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of raw cashews
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of raw almonds, sliced and toasted
salt & white pepper to taste
1. Saute the shallots in the butter (or oil) until soft and fragrant.
2. Add the parsnips & potato and cook until almost tender. Do not brown them though!
3. Add the vegetable stock, cover and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft.
4. In the meantime, add the cashews to a food processor and chop until fine. Add the water to make a paste. The consistency should be like hummus. Add more water if you need to. Set aside.
5. Once the parsnip mixture is soft, add it to either a food processor or blender. Carefully blend until smooth.
6. Add the cashew mixture and blend until incorporated.
7. Voila! Serve topped with some toasted almonds.