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.

Creamy Roasted Parsnips and Fennel

Spicy parsnips and fragrant fennel bond in a creamy, not-too-rich sauce full of fresh sage flavor. The nuts add just the right amount of texture, in this easy and quick dish that can be adapted to your tastes. Try potatoes and rutabaga with rosemary for another variation. This recipe was also featured on the California Walnuts website.

parsnips and fennel 2

Creamy Roasted Parsnips and Fennel

3 tablespoons (45mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound (454g) parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large bulb fennel, cut into 3/4-inch slices
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons (45mL) sweet rice flour (see Note)
2 cups (480mL) unsweetened nondairy coconut beverage, such as So Delicious
2 tablespoons (30mL) finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon (3mL) freshly grated nutmeg
Sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup (80mL) finely chopped toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or both

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Have an 8-inch square glass dish or 9-inch deep dish pie dish ready. Toss the parsnips and fennel with 1 tablespoon (15mL) of the olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until just starting to brown on the edges, about 25 minutes.

While the vegetables are in the oven, put the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 3/4 cups (420mL) of the nondairy milk. Pour the remaining milk in a small bowl. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Once the mixture on the stovetop is steaming, slowly add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly, to create a smooth consistency. Add the sage, and nutmeg. Continue to whisk the mixture until it has thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until the vegetables are finished baking.

Once the vegetables are finished, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Put them in the dish. Top with the sauce mixture. Sprinkle with the nuts. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbling. Serve warm.

Note: Sweet rice flour leaves a smooth finish, perfect for sauces and gravies. It is also sold under the names “glutinous rice flour” and “mochiko”.

Maple Parsnip Bread with Dried Cranberries

After I made and loved a cake with parsnips, I had a bunch of grated parsnips leftover and wanted to use them up. Surprisingly light, with a hint of maple flavor, this easy quick bread mixes together before your oven even preheats. It’s loaded with good stuff, nixes the refined sugars, and stays moist at room temperature for a few days, thanks to the applesauce and parsnips.

gluten-free vegan parsnip bread

Maple Parsnip Bread with Dried Cranberries

3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons club soda
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I used amber)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated parsnips, lightly packed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.

Put the sorghum flour, millet flour, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, ground flaxseeds, ground cinnamon, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the dried cranberries, mixing until they are coated with the flour.

In a large glass measuring cup or small bowl, put the applesauce, club soda, maple syrup, cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine. Pour the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Mix in the parsnips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan using a rubber spatula, smoothing the top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and put it on a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.