Parsnip soup with kale and roasted garlic

Have you ever had it happen to you that you are roaming in a grocery store picking up your onions, chilis and potatoes and all-of-a-sudden a packet of an unknown vegetable or a spice jumps into your cart and won't take no for an answer :D Well, that happens to me a lot! My husband calls it 'impulse-buy' but tchk-tchk I know better than that.. see, its a divine intervention! Okay, okay, I know I am an addict for buying new (to me) fruits and vegetables that seem to be in season without having any idea of what I am going to do with it. Then they sit in the fridge patiently waiting to be used up. A week goes by, no super-great cooking idea strikes me, and at the end of the week, I end up using them in my sure-fire way: by soupifying them!

Parsnips were my last week's impulse buy. They are in season now. I have tasted parsnips long back but this time they looked so fresh and crunchy that I had to have it! To be honest a parsnip soup was not on my mind when I bought them but it turned out to be great! I added kale purely for some color zing as parsnips are relatively pale in color but roasted garlic and rosemary are the main flavorings. This is a light soup and has more delicate flavors than my usual hearty soups. I enjoyed it with a bowl of leftover spaghetti and it turned out to be a great combination!

(Follow the read more link below for the rest of the recipe...)
Parsnips is a root vegetable of the carrot family. It looks more like mooli but has a starchy texture like potatoes and the flavor to me was a delicate mix of carrots and potatoes. It is a safe substitute for potatoes in most all dishes. It needs frost to grow and hence it can loosely be called a winter vegetable though parsnips are harvested in fall also. Okay, you know I am not an expert gardener (or any gardener for that matter.. :D) this info comes from here and here.

So, back to the Parsnip soup with kale & roasted garlic

5 small parsnips
3 large kale leaves
1 small onion
3 celery sticks
1C vegetable broth + 4C water (can use all broth or all water)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4tsp dried rosemary (or fresh -- even better!)
1/4tsp red chili powder
1/4tsp paprika
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven at 350F
  2. First of all place garlic cloves on an aluminum foil (unpeeled). Add a bit of olive oil and roast unpeeled garlic cloves for 30-40mins. (Do not use upper third of the oven shelves, they tend to burn easily) Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Then prepare the parsnips: peel the parsnips and trim off both the ends. Chop them into small pieces.
  4. Meanwhile heat 1Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot on low-medium heat.
  5. Add chopped onions and cook for a few minutes until softened.
  6. Then add chopped celery and cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Add parsnips & kale to the soup pot. 
  8. Add 1C vegetable broth and 4C water. Season with salt. Cook covered for 30-40minutes until the parsnips are soft and mushy. Add more water if the soup seems too thick. 
  9. Take the soup pot off the heat. Add rosemary, paprika, chili powder. Peel the roasted garlic cloves. Discard the peel and add the roasted cloves to the soup pot. 
  10. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the soup to the desired consistency. 
  11. Add lime juice. Taste!! Adjust the seasonings to taste. Server hot!

A steaming hot bowl of this parsnip soup goes straight to Monthly mingle - winter vegetables and fruits hosted by Cook like a bong and brainchild of Whats for lunch, honey?

Till next time leaving you with this picture of parsnips that I took.. don't you think this is more like a bad boy picture? I almost wanted to caption it 'Parsnips with an attitude'! See you..