Parsnip and cauliflower soup

I love parsnip soup. And I love cauliflower soup. So it only seemed like a natural progression to try the two together. And it was definitely worth doing!

When cooked, parsnips are naturally ‘creamy’ – and so is cauliflower. When cooked and blended together, it creates a lovely rich and unctuous texture that is wonderfully comforting, perfect for those grey January days.

I’ve used both a curry powder mix that contains turmeric as well as a little additional turmeric. This is to ensure that as well as super tasty, this soup also gives the immune system a bit of a helping hand.

Turmeric is a beautifully golden yellow spice (or root rather) that contains some powerful medicinal compounds that have been well researched for their positive effects on both the body and the brain. The main compound studied is curcumin, although there are many more within turmeric that all work together as a team, so as always, trust nature and consume turmeric as a whole rather than an individual compound.

To maximise absorption of these helpful compounds, it’s best to consume alongside some black pepper (for the compound piperine that massively aids absorption) and a little fat. As you know, all my food is cooked without oil, but I have included some almond milk plus I like to garnish my soup with a drizzle of cold-pressed flaxseed oil. This provides some healthy omega 3 fatty acids and helps absorption of the turmeric compounds.

This soup keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days plus it freezes well, so you can make a big batch and have portions on hand when you need a tasty lunch that will hug you from the inside out! Enjoy.

Parsnip and cauliflower soup

A deliciously thick and warming soup perfect for chilly winter days.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Servings 4 big portions

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 4 medium parsnips peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1.5-2 teaspoons medium curry powder
  • 700 ml vegetable stock
  • 100 ml almond milk or dairy-free milk of choice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • drizzle cold pressed flaxseed oil optional

Instructions
 

  • Place a medium-sized pan on a medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and sauté for 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften.
  • Tip the parsnips into the pan and sauté for 3 minutes, then add the cauliflower and garlic along with a little extra water to stop it sticking to the base of the pan. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the ground turmeric and curry powder and stir in to coat the veggies. Pour over the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Pop on the saucepan lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the veggies are soft.
  • Turn off the heat and add the almond or dairy-free milk of choice. Using a stick blender, blend to smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Gently reheat if necessary then serve piping hot with a little extra black pepper and glug of flaxseed oil
Keyword cauliflower, gluten free, healthy soup, OMS friendly, parsnip, plant based

Home grown parsnips and soup

We built a small vegetable patch in the garden this spring, but hadn’t expected to gain much produce in the first year. It rained so much, we started later than planned, so seed sowing was somewhat delayed. Plus we didn’t know what would be a success, and what would not.

Gardening organically is always a challenge but pests haven’t been too difficult to manage, apart from the slugs and snails. They munched their way through all my courgette, pumpkin and broccoli like there’s no tomorrow and so we didn’t actually get any success with these. Others, though, have been great – my french beans in the summer were outstanding, the leeks full flavoured and the chard fabulously rich, despite an initial slug onslaught.

But one crop is proving to be a real success – parsnips. Supposedly quite difficult to cultivate at times, the seeds were planted when the ground was warming up, and have grown beyond expectations. Traditionally, you’re supposed to harvest parsnips after the first frost, as the cold changes the carbohydrate content, making them sweeter and more flavoursome. Having been up at stupid-o’clock on Thursday morning and experienced freezing temperatures, I decided it was time to harvest a few parsnips to sample the fruits (or veg!) of my labour.

There is something truly wonderful about eating food that you have grown yourself; not only do you know exactly where they’ve been grown and what chemicals may or may not be on them, but the effort you put in to them seems to increase the eating experience – they have an enhanced value when they’re your own. And the flavour is always great, as fresh as you can get.

And these parsnips did not disappoint – deeply flavoured, sweet and full of goodness. As soon as my daughter saw the bunch, she delightedly asked if I was making parsnip soup, which of course I was. Funny what gets my kids excited!

Nutritionally, some may view parsnips as being to high in carbohydrate, especially sugars. The sugar content is higher than other veg, that’s true, but it’s complex sugars combined with lots of fibre so that’s actually the good stuff. Plus they’re packed full of phytonutrients and antioxidants that actually help protect your body against nasty free radicals. They also have great amounts of potassium, calcium, manganese as well as B vitamins and vitamin E. So not only do they taste good, they good for your body too.

Parsnip soup has to be one the the quickest and easiest soups to make, great if you want a speedy lunch. Why not give it a go – delightfully creamy, deeply flavoured and deliciously dairy free!

Spicy parsnip soup
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium sized leek, chopped
550g (or so) parsnips
1 tablespoon curry powder
up to 1 litre vegetable stock
salt and pepper
Wash the parsnips and peel if you have to (sometimes its difficult to get all the mud off, plus if they’re not organic you want to try and get rid of some of the chemical residue). Gently heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the leek and parsnip until they start to soften. Add the curry powder and coat well, then pour in the vegetable stock until the veg are just covered – don’t use it all for now, you can always add more later, that way you get to control thickness and consistency. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, pop on the lid and simmer for about 10 minutes until the parsnips are soft. Season and taste, then blitz, adding more stock if you need to thin the soup a bit. Serve with coriander or a swirl of dairy free yoghurt and enjoy – it’s makes wet autumn days worth having!