parsnip apple soup

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I think spring is around the corner, but I’m not really sure. Seattle is full on dreary, wet, and cold lately. We’ve had storm after storm and a record amount of rainfall lately. The wintertime blues and all the stressors from life seem to seep in from time to time, which is why I like to put everything aside and dedicate an evening to cooking. If time is limited, even an hour is good. Whether it’s making pasta by hand, slow roasting veggies, or cooking a comforting soup, it lifts my spirits, allows me to be mindful, and brings me back to what’s truly important.

I’ve been really liking the nuttiness of parsnips lately, so here I have a simple parsnip and apple soup. It’s earthy, smooth, a bit tart from the apples, and definitely comforting. I do want to try it with roasted parsnips at some point, perhaps that will be will be next. Especially if the weather keeps up at this rate.

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large parsnips, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 32 oz. vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 3 tbsp walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp crumbled walnuts
  • bushel of parsley
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tbsp walnut oil in a large pot and cook onions and parsnips on low/medium for about 20 minutes or until softened. Add apples and garlic and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
  2. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 more minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt & pepper. Use stick blender or transfer to blender, and blend until very smooth.
  3. Transfer back to pot on low heat, add apple cider vinegar, half & half, and more salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Serve up drizzled with 1 tbsp walnut oil and garnish with crumbled walnuts and fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

    Recipe adapted from BBC food creamy parsnip and apple soup

    thai zucchini salad

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    One of my favorite Thai dishes is papaya salad. For this dish, I decided to substitute zucchini for papaya, since we currently have more garden zucchini than we can handle. I also used garden tomatoes (sun golds and golden nuggets), garlic, onion, green beans, and a carrot. It’s a pleasing vegetarian dish. Throw in chili-lime shrimp or chicken for some added protein. Perfect for a hot summer day and a great way to use those zucchinis!

    Ingredients 

    Salad

    • 1 large or 2 small zucchini
    • 1 carrot
    • 5 green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 8 small tomatoes (cherry, sun gold, etc) halved
    • 1 cup chopped peanuts
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

    Dressing

    • 4 tbsp fish sauce
    • juice of 2 limes, zest of 2 limes
    • 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 tbsp chili pepper flakes (less if mild spicy level is desired)
    • 1 tsp brown sugar

    Directions

    1. Using a julienne peeler, cut the zucchini and carrot into long strands. Add it into a large bowl, along with the green beans and cherry tomatoes.
    2. Prepare the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients into a mortar and pestle and grind for about a minute to mix flavors and thicken dressing.
    3. Thoroughly stir dressing into salad, and top with cilantro, crushed peanuts, and another squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!

    Makes 2 servings