I love eating with the seasons. In the Summer my body craves hydrating, cooling dishes like my raw cauliflower tabbouleh salad. The spring brings a need for lighter meals and leafier, nutrient dense veggies and the Fall welcomes the transition into Winter, where my body thrives on substantial, well-rooted dishes that warm and nourish. Fall is a glorious time to blend the wonderful array of root and tuber vegetables that are available and really play with flavor and texture.
I have a vested interest in parsnips. I think it’s because they kind of resemble carrots, in their appearance and taste but their flavor is so much more dynamic! Almost as if a carrot and parsley had a baby. So delicious. They’re sweet and have this wonderful aroma that inherently connects me to Autumn. Let’s take a second and talk about their nutritional benefits: parsnips are loaded with potassium and soluble fiber.Which means they are uber heart healthy! Gotta love white veggies because to me that means they are full of Vitamin C which by now you should know helps reduce free radicals and fights against oxidative stress. To appeal to your vanity, that should translate as “bye bye wrinkles”. 🙂
Another Fall fav is the sweet potato. It is everywhere this time of year and for good reason! It’s natures way of screaming “you need to eat me!” Unlike their bro, the white potato, sweet potatoes are the kinda carbs that will keep your energy maintained and your body well fueled due to their high fiber content. Rich in antioxidants, particularly Vitamin A, one serving of a sweet potato will give your body the entire recommended daily intake of Vitamin A.
Apples lend a terrific sweetness to this soup and really help to balance the flavors. Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, an apple a day really may keep the doctor at bay. Just sayin…
I’m a soup kinda gal. Anything that can be pureed and not chewed is my kinda thang… (What can I say? I’m tired). I love how nutrient dense this soup is. It definitely is a thick, comforting meal, but if you preferred to thin it out, just add more water or broth. I chose to top it with cubed apples and some fresh parsley but some homemade croutons or tamari toasted pumpkin seeds would be amazing.
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 parsnips, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- 2 small apples or 1 medium, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Optional: bunch of fresh herbs (I had thyme on hand), bundled
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of red pepper flakes (to taste) (I used about 1/8 tsp)
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 cups of vegetable broth
- In a large pot, add oil, parsnips, sweet potato, carrots and celery and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Add apples and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes until apples begin to soften.
- Add cinnamon and red pepper flakes and another pinch of salt.
- Add broth and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add optional thyme bundle and partially cover, allowing to cook for about 30 minutes until all vegetables are fork tender.
- Carefully transfer soup to a blender (in batches if necessary) and pulse until smooth and creamy.* Depending on your blender strength you may need to add water to thin the soup.
- Taste for seasonings.
- Return to heat if necessary or serve straight away with a garnish with chopped apples.
- *Alternatively, you may use an immersion blender.