Everyone could use a little humor on Friday, so let me show you what I have to deal with when my husband and I are halfway across the country from each other during the week and entertaining each other via email … Kevin sent me this yesterday with the title “For Foodie Friday?” Um … I think he’s missing the point ;).
OK, now for a real Foodie Friday post! When I have a bunch of vegetables on hand in the fall or the winter, and I’m not quite sure how to use them, one of my favorite things to do is toss them all in a soup. Soups are easy, comforting, delicious, healthy … and pretty hard to screw up! They’re also a great way to use up veggies that are on their “last leg,” too … which reminds me to share this interesting post I found on storing Fall produce. Did you know you could store kale in a cup of water on the counter? Or that sweet potatoes do much better when they’re not refrigerated? I usually toss almost everything in the fridge, but now I know!
Anyway, back to the soups. I’ve already shared one delicious fall-themed soup with you and, yes, it had parsnips and butternut squash as well. But you can never have too many fall vegetables, right? This soup is thick and creamy, and the tang of the apples gives it an unexpected burst of flavor. It makes a great side dish along with some green veggies and a protein (even though the dish has beans, it’s still lower in protein overall). It’s also packed with veggies, gluten-free, and can be vegan if you use vegetable broth! Try it with a simple grilled chicken breast, or maybe some maple-cayenne baked tofu. And, of course, let me know how you like it!
Creamy Parsnip and Apple Soup
Serves 5 (as a side dish) or 2 (as a main course)
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 medium-sized yellow or white onion
- 1 medium-sized apple (mine was a Macintosh, and was 170g)
- 2 smaller parsnips (150g total)
- 8 ounces (or about 1 cup) butternut squash
- 3/4 cup cannelini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (200g)
- 2.5 cups 99% fat-free chicken broth (could also use vegetable broth for vegetarian/ vegan)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add diced onion and saute 3-4 minutes, or until beginning to soften.
- Chop apple, parsnips, and butternut squash into cubes – they don’t have to be bite-sized, but you want them small enough so they’ll cook through. Add veggies to onions in pot, and saute 5-7 more minutes, or until beginning to soften. Stir vegetables occasionally so they don’t burn..
- Add broth, water, beans, cinnamon, and salt. Stir, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow soup to simmer 20-25 minutes. You can take it off sooner if you want, but allowing it to cook longer only allows the flavors to meld better!
- Transfer entire mixture to a large blender (or do it in batches if your blender isn’t large enough). Blend until smooth – you’ll be amazed at how thick and creamy the soup is from the beans and parsnips – no cream required!
- Pour soup into bowls or storage containers. Dig in, and enjoy!
If made according to these instructions (for 5 servings), each serving will contain 142 calories, 3.5g fat, 24g carbs, and 4g protein.
So tell me in the comments … Were you storing any of your Fall produce the “wrong” way? Any fun and/ or healthy plans for the weekend? Be honest … does the bacon taco look good to you? (The answer for me is NO … aside from being just nasty, I’m actually not a fan of the taste of bacon, even though I love the smell. I know, I’m strange.)