This recipe can be made with whatever winter produce you have around- squash, turnips, parsnips, carrots. The technique was shown to me by my brother using butternut squash, but it works well for all sorts of vegetables. I am using turnips and parsnips because there are plenty in our garden at the moment, and threw in some carrots just for fun (um, this turned out to not be the best idea for the soup colorwise…).
And by the way, do you know how delicious parsnips are? I only really discovered them when I got to this farm, and now I don’t understand why everyone isn’t eating them all the time. If you roast them in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, mmmmmmm. So good.
Actually, the best soup I ever had was a parsnip soup served at a restaurant in Napa, California, that my dad took me too. At the time, I didn’t realize what it was made from. I wasn’t familiar with parsnips or turnips, so when the menu said “parsnip soup,” my brain thought “that vegetable that is like a potato, but not as good?” (I was thinking of turnips here) “No way. This is way too delicious and, well, delicious.” But now that I have tasted the amazing parsnip, I realize it is definitely what the soup was made from. Alas, this is not that recipe, but it is still a darn good soup, good for you, and probably way simpler to make.
Ratios can be changed around as you like, but I’ll write down what I used as guidelines.
~ 10 small turnips
Maple syrup (optional for sweet soups)
Herbs for seasoning (I used marjoram, but you can use thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc)
– Dice vegetables. If using squash, cut off the peel.
-Heat olive oil in a pan or heavy bottomed pot and sauté the vegetables, salt, pepper, and herbs for a few min. Frying the spices brings out their flavor (careful not to add too much pepper- sautéing it makes it spicy!). Cook until the vegetables smell a bit roasted and are a bit browned.
-Add enough water to just cover the vegetables (this makes a thick soup. Add more water for a thinner soup, but be careful not to add so much that you have to take some out before blending- this will makes the soup loose flavor. To be safe, start with less and add more if you need it).
-Once the vegetables are cooked, blend in a blender until smooth (don’t fill the blender with too much hot soup or the top can explode off. It’s happened to me, and it’s not fun to clean up).
-Return the soup to the pan/pot and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add maple syrup of you want.
Hope you like!