Love this naturally creamy, earthy soup. It is actually vegan and the crispy parsnips add a crispy bite along with the lovely heat of the chili oil. The parsnips and cauliflower lend themselves well to almost any herbs and spices, but for this soup I used a combination of curry, turmeric and ginger. You can adjust the spices to suit your taste depending if you prefer a bland soup or a spicier version, and you could certainly add some milk along with the broth if you wanted, but it is not at all necessary.
- 1 1/2 pounds of peeled parsnips, rough chop
- 4 cups roughly chopped cauliflower florets
- 1 sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 inches of fresh ginger root, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 3-4 teaspoons sweet curry (I love Penzey’s) and more to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- cilantro for garnish
- chili oil for garnish
for crispy parsnips:
- 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced very thinly
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- chili salt for sprinkling
In a heavy bottom stock pot, heat the olive oil on medium high. Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté for several minutes until fragrant and tender, and season with salt and pepper. Next add parsnips and cauliflower and continue to sauté an additional 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until vegetables begin to caramelize turning golden on the edges. Pour in wine and deglaze the pot, then pour in stock and seasonings. Bring mixture to a boil and cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow soup to simmer covered until vegetables are very tender and can fall apart with a fork (about 40 minutes). When soup is cool enough to handle, transfer to a food processor or blender and process soup until smooth (you can also use an immersion blender). If soup is too thick, you can add a bit more stock or water and adjust seasonings to taste. Keep warm while you make the parsnip crisps.
In a medium skillet, heat oil on medium high until hot but not smoking. Add parsnips and fry for about 1-2 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Season with chili salt immediately.
Ladle warm soup into bowls and garnish with the parsnip crisps, some cilantro and a drizzle of chili oil. Serve immediately and enjoy!