Who doesn’t love a good, warm, nourishing bowl of soup in the early winter months? It’s funny how suddenly my plans in the kitchen change from salads and marinated meats to soups and stews, all in a matter of days. You can just feel the change coming: the air gets cool and crisp, your body is in need of sustenance rather than just eating mostly for pleasure and you know that it’s time to break out your dutch oven and get cooking!
My most recent soup creation was once again inspired by the most beautiful, colorful carrots that I found at the market (see my ribbon carrot salad with cumin-lime vinaigrette). I also had some lovely sweet parsnips lying around as well as some freshly infused chicken stock that I’d used for another recipe. Thus this soup was born. Sweet and earthy with the addition of turmeric, silky smooth and fresh because of the coconut milk, with just a tiny bit of punch and flavor coming from the roasted garlic. I also roasted my root veggies before puréeing this soup, bringing out their natural flavors. I hope you like it!
Roasted carrot and parsnip soup with coconut milk and parsley purée
1 lb multi-colored carrots
1 large parsnip
3 garlic cloves
2 t turmeric/curcuma
2 T olive oil
1 C coconut milk
2-3 C chicken or vegetable stock (mine was infused with ginger, lemon verbena and basil)
Salt and pepper
1 bunch parsley
A couple tablespoons of heavy cream
A couple tablespoons olive oil
Here’s what you do: begin by preheating your oven to about 375°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Peel the carrots and parsnips, cutting them in half lengthwise, then into 3-4 pieces. Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with turmeric. Add the garlic cloves as well. Let them roast for as long as needed, probably about 45 minutes, until the veggies are tender and aromatic. Remove garlic cloves earlier if they start to brown too much.
Once everything is roasted, transfer to a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add your stock and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Let simmer for another 20-30 minutes and then take the soup off of the heat. Once it cools down slightly, begin puréeing with a hand-held blender. Add the coconut milk and blend some more. If the soup is too thick, add more stock or a bit of water.
For the parsley coulis (I simply made this because I had a bunch of leftover parsley, but it did give an herby touch to the soup), simply blend the parsley and olive oil as if you were making a pesto. Once the leaves become finely chopped, add in a bit of heavy cream and serve with the soup.