Roasted Parsnip, Apple and Ginger Soup with Quinoa

I learned this recipe a while back during a cooking class that I attended for my company Christmas party.  It was my first year with the company and one of our colleagues thought we needed to do something “different” for Christmas that year.  Our teacher was a semi-grumpy French man, and I remember being a little scared of getting the recipes wrong because he may scold us.  Luckily everything turned out well.  I loved this soup, and for some reason never made it again until now, 10 years later.  I am now going to make it on a regular basis, especially because I was able to successfully veganize it, using cashew cream instead of crème fraîche.  I also added another healthy twist, throwing in a cup of red quinoa, which gives it some extra protein and also a nice texture.  You could easily sneak in some spinach or kale as well…I think I may try that myself next time!

RECIPE:

  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, washed and sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup dry red quinoa, washed well
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°

Toss parsnips, apples and ginger in a bowl with the olive oil.  Spread out on a roasting tray and roast in oven for about 20 minutes.

In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add leek, celery, onion and potatoes. Cook for five minutes and add parsnip mixture and broth.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer, cooking for 30 minutes.  After 10 minutes of cooking, add quinoa to pot.

With an immersion blender (or a regular blender if you don’t have one) process until smooth (the quinoa should mostly stay in-tact with the immersion blender).  Serve with a dollop of cashew cream and fresh pepper.

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