This Carrot and Parsnip soup is an uncomplicated, simple, and beautifully balanced soup with a hint of ginger.
Ever since I began getting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box full of veggies years ago I have fallen head over heels with eating seasonally. We had a small garden at my old home which was hands-down-no-contest my favorite 4×8 foot rectangle of our home. But with two small babies, I didn’t have the time to devote to it that I would have liked to. Thus, in my little raised bed’s infancy, it didn’t produce a huge bounty. (I was grateful nonetheless.) However, the bounty of my CSA box that I have picked up every Wednesday this year and years past has been unmistakable. There was always a good mix of food, but usually a lot of a particular kind or two of vegetables. One week green beans would be the only vegetable taking up real estate in my refrigerator veggie drawer and the next week I would wonder just how many watermelon radishes I could fit into my belly in one day.
(Want to find a CSA near you and get in on the local veggie deliciousness? Check out localharvest.com!!)
A few weeks ago was my last pick-up for the duration of 2016 (and into 2017) and I had a lot of sadness mixed up in the event. Winter in Minnesota is a harder time for a local veggie-loving girl like myself. However, opening that brown box to see it overflowing with carrots and parsnips lifted my mood. I’ve wanted to get a carrot and parsnip soup just right for a very long time. I didn’t want to do anything fussy, anything complicated. I wanted every ingredient to be tasted in every bite. So here it is. It’s simple, earthy, and beautiful.
A few notes on the soup:
- When chopping your carrots and parsnips, make the pieces about the same size so they cook evenly.
- I like my soups on the thicker side, so add additional broth or water after the soup is blended to get it to your liking. (Add after blending to make sure you don’t make it too thin accidentally.) Roasting the vegetables rather than simmering them is an option as well, but I prefer to preserve more nutrients by cooking them on low heat in the broth rather than roasting at a high temperature.
- The flavors in this soup are well balanced, but lean slightly toward the parsnips. Feel free to make yours with less carrots and more parsnips if that suits you better!
- This soup also freezes well.
- Carrots and Parsnips – If you buy your carrots organic, give them a good scrub, but resist the urge to peel them as many of the nutrients lie in the skin.
- Chicken Stock – Want to take your soups to another level nutritionally and taste wise? This post goes into how to make your own (economically!) and here’s a link to buying local humanely raised chickens near you.
- Ginger – Most of what is beneficial about ginger lies just beneath the skin. Remove as little as possible when you’re preparing it.
Special Diet Modifications:
- AIP folks – substitute coconut oil for the butter and do not add walnuts as garnish.
Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Ginger
Simple and delicious - an uncomplicated carrot and parsnip soup for a light lunch or a first course at dinner. The flavors in this soup are well balanced, but lean slightly toward the parsnips. Feel free to make yours with less carrots and more parsnips if that suits you better!
- 1 medium yellow onion peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee can substitute coconut oil for dairy-free version
- 2 cups carrots peeled (optional), sliced in half and chopped into 1/2" pieces (about 2 medium)
- 3 cups parsnips peeled (optional), sliced in half and chopped into 1/2" pieces (about 3 medium)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or pink himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated, grate before measuring
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts optional - chopped for garnish (walnuts can also be served raw)
- 2 scallions or 8 chives optional - chopped for garnish
In large pot or dutch oven, add onion and butter over low-medium heat. Saute for 7-10 minutes or until onions become soft and translucent.
Add carrots, parsnips, salt, and pepper. Saute vegetables for 5 minutes to draw out the flavor.
Add chicken stock and ginger. Bring soup to a low simmer and cook until vegetables are just tender, about 15-20 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, toast the walnuts (optional step, but really brings out the flavor of the walnuts). In a small pan on low/medium heat add the walnuts and toast for about 5-7 minutes. Stir them often to prevent burning. They are finished, when crisp and flavorful, but not burnt!
Puree soup in batches using a high-speed blender or right in the pot with an immersion blender. Add additional broth or water at this time to thin the soup to desired consistency.
Taste for salt.
Serve with garnishes