Parsnips and Carrots: A True Love Story…

17 Feb

After a truly invigorating Moksha yoga class, i never really want to go home and cook a big, heavy meal. I usually gravitate towards fruit and granola, salads or soups. However, i am completely disgusted by the amounts of sodium present in generic store-bought soup. What is the point of all this salt? Furthermore, when you buy reduced-sodium choices, they just taste weird. It’s a lose-lose situation. Luckily for me, there is an abundance of root veggies at the grocery store lately, and making soup is the perfect après-yoga activity, because you can laze around and put your feet up while the veggies are simmering!

I feel like parsnips are an over-looked veggie, the under-dog of its family. A relative to the carrot, the parsnip is neither as popular or as widely-used in recipes. However, parsnips pack more potassium than their orange counterparts, and are super high in dietary fiber. Another point in the parsnip’s favor is when it’s cooked, it takes on a sweet, hearty flavor. Super yummy. I decided to give parsnip a chance at its 15 minutes of fame, and make a potage out of it. I also threw some carrots into the party pot, so they wouldn’t get jealous. 😉

The addition of apples, ginger, sweet potato and nutmeg to this mélange made for a deliciously hearty bowl of awesomeness. It was a little sweet, a little spicy, and very nutritious. What more could you want out of a soup?

To assemble this potage, grab a large soup pot, and cover the bottom with extra-virgin olive oil. Turn your burner on medium-high heat. Throw in a couple of cloves of garlic, minced, depending on your garlic tolerance. I personally LOVE the stuff, so i minced 6 cloves. Let the garlic hang out, and once it has become fragrant, grate a 3-4 inch piece of ginger into the pot. Let the ginger and the garlic flavors meld together for a minute. Then toss in 6 chopped medium carrots and 6 chopped medium parsnips. Stir it all up and let cook for a minute. Throw in 1 chopped sweet potato and 2 chopped apples. Sprinkle a little nutmeg and some cayenne pepper, and stir to coat all the veggies. Cover the veggies with veggie broth (my favorite brand is Pacific Foods), and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat to medium, and let simmer until all the veggies are tender. If you have a blender, spoon the soup into the blender and blend until puréed. If you have a hand mixer, go to town on the soup with the mixer. Purée until no chunks remain. Chop up some chives or scallions and use as garnish for each bowl. And Voilà! Soup!

The cool thing about this soup is it fills your kitchen (or 2 1/2 apartment) with a sweet aroma. It’s great at this time of the year, when the weather is a little unpredictable. (Will it be cold, colder, or utterly freezing tomorrow? Who knows?) It also lends well to dipping breads and scones, if that’s your thing. This soup nourishes the soul after an intense yoga session (or any workout for that matter!) because of it’s warmth and sweetness. It also freezes well; a batch of this can easily last me a week!

Speaking of nourishing the soul, I’ve been contemplating the subject of change today. As i look outside onto the first sunny, warm day in a long time, i can sense the feeling of spring, slowly creeping up on us. I feel spring is a season of renewal and cleansing, whether planned or not. Just as the snow melts and does away with impurities, we regenerate in a way. There is an energizing, invigorating feeling that surrounds the arrival of spring. Physically, we don’t bundle up into ourselves as much, we lose that hunched-over feel of keeping warmth in. We can open our hearts, stand taller and walk with a spring to our step (seeing as there is no more ice on the ground… walking with a spring in your step in the winter is treacherous!) At this time, one of the closest people in my life is undergoing a huge change and moving into her very own first home. It’s new, it’s modern, and it’s a fresh start. I, myself will be moving into a larger, more spacious apartment in a month’s time. This feeling of change transports me to a very specific feeling in my childhood. Every time i would get sick, the minute my mother would sense that i was getting better, she would kick me out of my room and wash all my sheets and pillowcases. The feeling of crawling back into a fresh, clean, crisp bed is the same feeling i get when winter moves to spring, when i move to a new abode, when a life-changing shift happens in my life. Spring is quite familiar to us, but in my eyes it always feels like a fresh start. A time to take on new projects, revive  forgotten ones. As much as some of us try to push it away, i try to welcome change as the start of a new adventure, as freshly washed sheets on my bed…

 

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4 Responses to “Parsnips and Carrots: A True Love Story…”

  1. cybervegan February 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    I have tried said soup……. I WANT MORE!!!! Now where is the story about the cornbread you made! mmm cornbread

  2. Maria Notarangelo February 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    One of my very favorite vegetables is definetely the parsnip! Love the sweetness and mellow flavor. Thanks for spreading the good word! Hail to Parsnips everywhere!!

  3. Christina February 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Sara, I have to say that I’ve never tried parsnips before… I know, it’s a scandal, right? Vegan for almost 8 years and no parsnip experience? If they cross my path, I think I might experiment with them–rather, if I cross *their* path; if they crossed mine, parsnips would probably not be vegan anymore…

    It’s funny that you mention your mum changing your sheets and pillowcases as soon as you were over a cold; I’m just getting over one and I’ve had those precise thoughts cross my mind. Ha. You can tell our mums are related…

    Thanks for another happy, invigorating post 🙂 and for making me laugh (you gotta watch out for those jealous carrots).

    Christina

  4. Claudia February 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    This sounds awesome! Can’t wait to try this one-love soups!!!!!! 🙂

    p.s Sara you’re so cute, love your blog!

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