By Cindy Ruth
I know, I know, this is a strange colored soup. This is what happens when one of your ingredients is fresh beets. The color doesn't bother me, but if it bothers you, just use golden beets instead of red beets. That's what I did the second time I made this soup and it was a nice golden color.
The ingredient for this week is PARSNIPS. I love soups of all sorts, and with this winter weather we've been having, soups are perfect. This is also a very healthy soup. You can alter this recipe in many different ways. I'm going to just describe what I did here rather than give you an actual recipe. Any way you adapt it, it always turns out good.
The complimentary ingredients I used with parsnips are NUTMEG, carrots, olive oil, pepper, potatoes, salt, chicken stock.
Here's what I did. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and cut into small pieces about 4 parsnips, 4 carrots, 3 potatoes, and 3 beets. You can use any variety of root vegetables in any quantities you want. Place all on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and black pepper. Toss to mix together, then spread out. If the vegetables can't all lay flat, place half of them on a second pan. I also peeled 1 medium onion, sliced it in half, and layed in cut side down on the baking sheet. If you'd prefer, you can dice it instead and toss with the other ingredients. Roast the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. The time will depend on how small you cut your vegetables, but probably 30-45 minutes. Remove from pan, and place in a large saucepan. Add about 1 can chicken broth or stock. Use an immersion blender to then make a pretty smooth soup. I like some chunks still, but not too large. You can also use a blender. As you're doing this, add more broth until it's the right consistency. I think I used 3 or 3 1/2 cans for the above quantity of vegetables. When the soup is pureed and the consistency you like, place the pan on the stove to heat back up. You can add any spices you might want also. I used a little freshly grated nutmeg, because I needed to have this as a complimentary ingredient. It tasted good, but the second time I made it I only used salt and pepper. Fresh herbs like thyme or sage would be good also. Place in a bowl, and serve with fresh croutons or slices of bread.
That's it. I love this soup, love that it's healthy, easy, and adaptable to whatever root vegetables you want to use. Turnips, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sunchokes, even winter squash and cauliflower work well.