These may be stressful times, friends, but thank goodness we can continue to strengthen ourselves and our loved ones with the power of wellness though superfood cooking. So while healthy soups are always a welcome addition to the colder weather cooking agenda, now more than ever you may find they fall a bit into the “all I want to eat” category!
Even better, whether you’re planning the details of your holiday menu, or just perusing what’s fresh and new in the produce department, there’s a surprising number of delicious natural foods to choose from for your soups. Pumpkins and squash? Check. Pecans and chestnuts? Absolutely. Potatoes and Cauliflower? Obviously.
Yet some of the slightly more nuanced seasonal wonders are easy to miss out on if you’re not actively seeking them for recipes. Such is the case with parsnips—carrot’s distinctively tasty cousin—which are far too rarely put to use despite their majestic flavor offerings. We also pine for the use of more seasonal fruit in savory recipes—offerings like pomegranate, cranberry, and pear go so well with so many of the in-season vegetables inherently.
That’s why this superfood-infused Parsnip-Pear soup from chef Julie’s Superfood Soups cookbook is truly just what the doctor ordered with it’s seasonal yet special, sophisticated yet simple, and invigorating yet soothing experience. Enhanced with goji berries and hemp seeds to add to it's stockpile of minerals and vitamins, file this soup under: recipes you didn’t know you needed, and now can’t live without.
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WATCH HOW WE MAKE THE PARSNIP-PEAR SOUP FROM SUPERFOOD SOUPS:
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PARSNIP-PEAR SOUP PREP TIPS:
Paying attention to these simple details can elevate your recipe results dramatically.
Use super ripe pears. Get the softest, ripest pears you can find (any variety will do!) to take advantage of the natural sugars the fruit develops as it matures.
Clean those leeks. Leeks are often saturated with the sandy dirt they grow in, and need to be very thoroughly cleaned. Try trimming them, slicing in half lengthwise, and giving them a soak in a water bath for several minutes to release any sediment that may be hiding.
Sweeten as desired. This soup uses a small amount of maple syrup to enhance the flavor of the pears further. In the original recipe in Superfood Soups, we also listed the option of using yacon syrup instead. We still love yacon, but sadly it is increasingly difficult to find in stores, so we are not listing it here. However if you happen to have some, this is an ideal place to put it to use!
Thin or thicken as needed. Pureed soups have a tendency to vary a bit in thickness from batch to batch. If you find your blended soup is too thick, add a little water at the end of cooking to loosen it up a bit. If it is too loose for your liking, cook the pureed soup for a few minutes longer to adjust the texture.
MORE COMFORTING SUPERFOOD SOUPS:
Superfood Soups (best-selling cookbook by Julie Morris)
Enjoy this slightly sweet Parsnip-Pear Soup as a welcome addition to a warming weeknight dinner, or use it to enhance your next holiday meal. Recipe reprinted with permission from the Superfood Soups cookbook, by Julie Morris.
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes Servings: 6 Author: Julie Morris
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced thin
1½ lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
2 very soft pears, any variety, cored and diced
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons dried goji berries
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons flat parsley leaves
1. In a large stockpot, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the parsnips, pears, nutmeg, and cayenne, and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring often. Add the goji berries, pour in the broth and water, and season with a big pinch of salt and a generous amount of pepper. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the parsnips are tender. Remove from heat and stir in the almond butter, hemp seeds, and syrup.
2. Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches as needed, and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the stockpot—adjust seasoning and add extra water, if needed, to thin soup.
3. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of maple syrup, fresh parsley, and ground black pepper.