Meals have been pretty simple around here lately. I’ve made this a few times and then some, and still can’t enough (send help + more harissa please). Other than that there have been big pots of lentil stews and soups simmering away on the stove most nights. Matt often complains that I never let him help out in the kitchen. He’s not wrong, but there are a mix of reasons why. Coming home and letting go of my day by chopping, mixing and stirring without rushing or fusing is a kind of therapy for me. I spend my days at work serving others, so to come home and make something nourishing to feed and energize our bodies feels really good. Purposeful.
As a busy day at work turns into a chilly december night, nothing feels more nourishing than a big bowl of soup loaded with seasonal vegetables and warm spices. Plus with the holidays looming just around the corner (read cinnamon buns and far too many papillotes), it feels right to be filling up on simple bowls and big salads at the moment. Parsnips can be a relatively disliked vegetable, but I really love the unique flavor they have. Nothing new or very original about this soup, but the combination is a classic one that just works without searching too far for ingredients. The biggest task of making soups or stews is chopping up all the vegetables, which is where a sous chef can come in handy. This is one of those moments where Matt joins me for dinner prep, we peel and chop and get the pot going when we get home, then go on with our evening tasks and before you know it dinner is ready. Simple, seasonal meals + and quiet nights in. Two things that are highly underrated this time of year. Taking a few moments to slow it all down.
News! For more happy hearted comfort food, I’m sharing a recipe for winter survival lentil stew with the lovely Rika over on vegan miam. Also! To get you in the holiday spirit, you can find my recipe for ginger + spice poached pear buns with vanilla cashew cream in the winter edition of Chickpea Magazine. Big cheers to you all! xx
ROASTED CARROT SOUP WITH PARSNIPS, APPLES AND GINGERY TOASTED PEPITAS
A simple + seasonal soup to keep you going through the holidays. I love having some soup in the fridge or freezer ready to go for a quick, healthy meal. The recipe below makes quite a large batch, enough to keep you going through the week. Stay warm, friends.
Serves 6-8. Vegan + Gluten Free.
6 cups parsnips, peeled + chopped
3 cups carrots, peeled + chopped
2 medium red apples, I used local galas, peeled, cored + chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt + Pepper
5 cups organic vegetable stock + water, as needed
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C
Place peeled + chopped parsnips, carrots and apples on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, add ginger, spices, apple cider vinegar and season with a good pinch of salt of some black pepper. Toss to evenly coat and roast in the oven until tender. The carrots should be easily pierced through with a fork and the edges should be browning, about 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool. Blend the soup using a high speed blender. Add about 1-2 cups of roasted veg with stock or water and transfer to a bowl or pot. Blend in parts with enough stock until you get desired consistency, I like it quick thick. Alternatively, you could add the roasted vegetables to a large pot, then add enough stock/water to just about cover and blend everything with a immersion blender. Up to you. I find using a stand blender makes the smoothest soup.
Add pumpkin seeds, olive oil, ginger and salt in a bowl and toss to coat, then place in a pan over medium/high heat and toast until fragrant. The pepitas will start to ‘pop’ when they are ready. Remove and let cool.
Serve soup with toasted seeds, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of oil. Add some toasted rye sourdough with mashed avocado as the perfect side.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!