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.


Recipe: beef and wild rice soup

This recipe literally came off the top of my head as I was making it.  As I was contemplating what to make for dinner for my flu-ridden husband, I thought, “something simple but satisfying.”  And that’s exactly what happened.  It’s the product of looking around the kitchen and utilizing what we already had, even thought I wasn’t savvy enough to make a menu plan this week!

The main ingredients that caught my eye:

No, that’s obviously not applesauce in the Mott’s jar.  It’s homemade beef stock left over from a chuck roast I made last week.  (More on stocks and such later in another post…) I try to use stocks and broths whenever I can because of the added nutritional value it provides.  And call me a wino, but I’ve been pretty interested in cooking with wine lately.

 Out of that, dinner was born:

Beef and Wild Rice Soup


1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup wild rice
1 large carrot, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked beef
2 1/2 cups beef stock, fat included
2/3 cups red wine
2 cups water
1 tsp powdered garlic
2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp basil


Cook up your brown and wild rice as normal.  Meanwhile use this time to chop up your vegetables or cook up your meat if you don’t have leftovers like I happened to.  Once your rice is about halfway cooked, add in the vegetables and 1/2 cup of your water and let the rice and veggies cook fully.  Once cooked, add in your beef, beef stock, red wine, remaining water, and spices.  Stir and bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  This recipe made about 4-5 main course servings for me.  I think I could have salted it more than I did and/or added more spices, but it was still delicious and everyone who ate it seemed pleased!

This recipe is gluten free, egg free, and soy free.