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Do you have a favorite vegetable soup? Every year around the holidays I end up making several batches of my Spiced Butternut Squash Soup; honestly, it’s my attempt at recreating my mom’s soup. I see this Roasted Vegetable Soup recipe as an extension of my butternut squash soup with the addition of other vegetables.
The main ingredient in this recipe is butternut squash. And, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you are probably familiar with some of my other butternut squash recipes. Like this quinoa and butternut squash dish. Or these savory squash pancakes. Or even this simple garlic roasted butternut squash. However, I’d like to take a moment to talk about another ingredient in this recipe: parsnips.
What are Parsnips?
Parsnips are a root vegetable related to carrots; very little surprise there. Raw parsnips are a low-calorie, fiber-rich food; 100 grams of parsnips have 75 calories and 5 grams of fiber; for comparison, 100 grams of raw potato has 77 calories and 2.2 grams of fiber. Parsnips are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Two other important nutrition benefits of parsnips are that they have a low glycemic load and are rich in folate. I discussed glycemic load in the post accompanying my mocha chocolata cupcakes recipe.
Benefit of Folate in Parsnips
Folate is a vitamin-B with several health benefits. Too little folate can result in megaloblastic anemia which causes “fatigue, paleness of the skin (pallor), shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness and a fast or irregular heartbeat”. Folate helps prevent neural tube defects in babies; it helps the baby’s brain and spinal cord to develop properly. Also, people with adequate folate in the bloodstream are less likely to suffer from depression.
OK, that’s enough nutrition talk. Let’s get to making this soup! For this recipe, as I’ve recommended in previous recipes (like this pilaf, this Thai Soup), you should use an unsalted broth. Try this recipe and let me know what you think.
Prep Time: 10 minutes . Cook Time: 50+minutes . Yield: Serves 8
3 to 6 Cups Unsalted Vegetable Broth
1 Head of Garlic
1 Large Leek, thoroughly washed and cut in half lengthwise
1 Yellow Onion, quartered
1/2 Lb Carrots, peeled & cut into 3 or 4
1/2 Lb Parsnips, peeled & cut into 3 or 4
1 Medium Butternut Squash, cut into quarters lengthwise
2+ Tbsp Olive Oil
6+ Sprigs Thyme
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Tsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Allspice
Chopped Pecans and Green Onions for garnish
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Slice top of garlic so that tops of cloves are exposed. Drizzle a little olive oil into head of garlic; coat the garlic with the oil. Wrap in parchment paper then wrap in foil. Set aside.
3. Line one or two (maybe 3) baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Arrange vegetables (except green onions) into a single layer on baking sheet(s). Toss vegetables with olive oil, spices, thyme and salt. Add wrapped garlic to baking sheet.
4. Roast vegetables for 50-60 minutes until soft; turn vegetables after about 30 minutes. If any vegetables seem to be done (or burning) before others, simply remove them from the baking sheet and set aside for later. Note: You can reduce the overall roast time by cutting the vegetables into smaller pieces
5. If using an immersion blender: Add roasted vegetables and 3 cups of vegetable broth into a large pot. Using your immersion blender, blend vegetables and stock until desired smoothness; add more broth to get desired thickness. If using a stand blender: Working in batches, blend vegetables with stock; transfer blended soup to pot.
6. Reheat soup when ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper; top with about 1 teaspoon of pecans and green onions.