Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup with Heart-Beet Crisps

Looking for a simple Valentine’s Day-inspired meal? This soup’ll do it. A slight sweetness thanks to the roasted garlic, parsnips, and onions, this soup is not only easy and delicious, but adds a love-inspired twist with a heart-shaped garnish.  I like keeping it a little chunky for some texture (I do realize, yes, it sort of looks like applesauce!), but you can also blend it until it is completely smooth.

Parsnip Soup

Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup with Heart-Beet Crisps

Olive oil for the pan and the vegetables
1 large bulb of garlic
2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced in half
1 medium beet, peeled
Fine sea or himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 1 /2 cups water
1/3 cup unsweetened nondairy milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Have the water boiling in a kettle. Using a sharp knife, cut the very top off of the garlic bulb, just enough to expose the cloves. Rub the top of the exposed cloves with some olive oil. Wrap the bulb in aluminum foil, and put on baking sheet. Toss parsnips and onion with more olive oil, and put them on the baking sheet.

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice the beet into 1 /8-inch rounds. With a
cookie cutter or paring knife, cut into heart shapes. One medium beet will make about 10, though you only need a couple hearts for garnishing. Lightly brush each heart with oil on both sides, then put them on the baking sheet with the garlic, parsnips, and onion. Transfer to the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.

When the oven timer dings, check the beet crisps. They should be done, but if they look like they need a little more time, leave them in longer until crispy (keep your eye on them, they’ll burn easily). The parsnips and onion mixture will need about 40 minutes total; the garlic about 50.

When all ingredients are cooked through, set aside the beet crisps. Unwrap the garlic and once it is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves into a medium saucepan, along with parsnips, onion, and hot water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the soup from heat. Add the milk and blend to desired smoothness. Serve warm, garnished with beet crisps.

Sorghum Pilaf with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Beets, and Cranberries

This dish has all the right textures and flavors—hearty sorghum is paired with creamy Brussels sprouts, sweet beets, and tart cranberries with the underlying fall-inspired herbs and spices and earthy mushrooms. If you want to add some crunch, toss in a generous handful of toasted hazelnuts or pecans before serving.

sorghum, brussels, beets

Sorghum Pilaf with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Beets, and Cranberries

3 tablespoons (45mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup (240mL) finely chopped celery (with leaves)
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon (3mL) poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspoon (1mL) fine sea or Himalayan salt
2 3/4 cup (660mL) water
3/4 cup (180mL) sorghum grain, rinsed
1/2 ounce (14g) dried mixed mushrooms
1 pound (454g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
3/4 pound (340g) beets, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup (240mL) fresh cranberries
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Heat 1 tablespoon (15mL) of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the celery and onion and cooked until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, poultry seasoning, and salt. Cook for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the water, sorghum, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until the sorghum has absorbed the water and is cooked through, about 55 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the Brussels sprouts and beets with the remaining oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Top with the cranberries. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the Brussels sprouts and beets are cooked through and starting to brown and caramelize, about 30 minutes. Let stand until the sorghum is finished cooking.

When the sorghum has finished cooking, add the Brussels sprouts mixture. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve warm.

sorghum, brussels, beets 3

Raw Beet Salad with Ginger and Pistachios

Beets — ever had them raw? They’re a match made in food heaven with bright orange, pungent ginger, and salty roasted pistachios. This is excellent as a salad, but great as a slaw on sandwiches, too.

beets

Raw Beet Salad with Ginger and Pistachios

5 medium beets, peeled and grated
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled (about the size of your thumb)
1 small shallot, peeled and cut in half
Juice from 1/2 an orange
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half
Sea salt to taste
5 ounces mixed greens or arugula
1/3 cup shelled, dry-roasted pistachios, roughly chopped

To grate the beets, use a box grater or the attachment on your food processor.

Place the ginger, half of the shallot, the orange juice, olive oil, juice from half the lemon and a sprinkle of salt into a heavy duty food processor. Process until smooth. Taste for seasonings, adding additional shallot, lemon juice and salt if necessary. I love using a whole shallot, but for some it may be too strong.

Toss the mixture with the beets. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Before serving, sample the mixture again for taste, adding more lemon or salt if necessary. Either toss the mixture with the greens or place the greens in a serving bowl and top with the beet mixture. Sprinkle with pistachios. Serve immediately.