recipe: parsnip and toasted walnut soup

Parsnips are an absolutely wonderful root vegetable and one of the least appreciated!  It is packed with health benefits just waiting to be taken advantage of.  Parsnips are lower in calories than carrots and potatoes.  They’re naturally sweet and their calories come more from natural sugars vs starch like in a potato.  High in folic acid and vitamin B6, they’re an excellent food choice for women who are trying to conceive or pregnant.  Other vitamins and minerals that parsnips provide are vitamins C and E, copper, maganese, lots of potassium, fiber, and niacin.  Parsnips have been known to be used as a diuretic, antioxidant, aid in reducing obesity, a treatment for kidney disease, and is beneficial for those dealing with asthma

What is not to love about this superfood?  For all its benefits, it’s worth incorporating into the diet.  Last night, we made soup from parsnips that is easily vegan/vegetarian friendly. 


Parsnip and Toasted Walnut Soup


2 med sized or 1 giant carrot, chopped into small pieces
3 large parsnips, chopping into small pieces
(the two should equal roughly 4 cups when chopped up)
1 med onion, chopped and diced
1/2 cup olive oil
3 generous handfuls of walnuts (maybe 1 1/2 cups?)
4 cups broth (vegetable or bone)
2 1/2 tbs potato starch (or other thickener of your choice)
3 1/2 tbs thyme
2 tbs nutmeg
1/2 tbs corriander


Chop up your carrots and parsnips and set aside.  Heat 1/4 cup of your olive oil in a large skillet/sauce pan and sautee diced onion till soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add in walnuts, stir, and toast/sautee another 5 minutes.  Add in your chopped carrots and parsnips and remaining olive oil and sautee for approx 10-15 minutes.  Add potato starch and stir well into the mixture and allow to soak in for about 3 minutes.  Pour in your broth, stir, and simmer.  Cover and simmer, stirring every few minutes, for another 10 minutes.  Make sure the carrots and parsnips are soft and well cooked.  Set aside and allow the mixture to cool down enough to pour into a blender or large food processor.  Pour entire mixture into your blender/food procesor and pulse till liquified.  Return the liquid soup back to the pot/skillet and add in all your spices, stir and blend.  Heat through for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb.  Serve.

This recipe is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, and can be vegetarian and vegan if you choose vegetable broth.


The Benefits of Broth

This is the post in which I lose all of my vegetarian readers. 

I used to be vegetarian too, and I have nothing against it.  In an age of fast food, it can be a decent lifestyle to live.  But when I started experiencing issues with my fertility and my health, I began researching how the foods I eat play a role in how my body functions.  It may seem obvious that what we eat has a lot to do with our overall health, but I discovered its true benefits to depths that I never even considered before.

And that’s when I turned to traditonal foods and slow cooking.  I learned about how traditional foods contain essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep my body healthy, promote optimum nutrition, and can even work towards healing our body of various issues that weigh us down.  In the midst of modern diet fads, I’ve learned that the most healthy, nourishing path I have found is traditional foods — the whole foods that have stood the test of time and have been used for centuries by healthy societies. 

One of the most valuable foods I have found is bone broth

Bone broth/stock is one of the most traditional and oldest foods out there.  You’ll see it in every culture for centuries down the line.  And there’s a reason for that.  Bone broth is extremely healthy.  It is high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and trace minerals.  Bone broth is also known to give great relief to those suffering from arthritis and joint pains and inflammations because of the glucosamine and chondroiton it contains.  Most people know bone broth as a healer for colds, but it’s also important for people with Celiac to help restore vitamins and nutrients that we have a hard time absorbing in addition to helping heal digestive issues from Celiac along with other issues such as acid reflux and ulcers. 

The gelatin that comes from bone broth is also important in its own right.  French researchers found that gelatin aided many health concerns such as ulcers, diabetes, infectious diseases, and it helped to improve digestion in small children.  It contains non-essential amino acids that help detoxify your body.  Gelatin is also a supplemental protein that helps support your joints and connective tissues.  (And ladies, it will also help your hair, skin, and nails grow strong and shiny!)

A cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life–so say grandmothers, midwives and healers. For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces.  — Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation

Hang tight, because this week, I’ll show you some tips and recipes to make your own bone broths at home.  You’ll be surprised at how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own broths and the many ways in which you can incorporate this super food into your diet.

(all images in this post were found via Pinterest)