Updated: Jan 7
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Guess what? It's soup season!
I love to have a nice healing bowl of soup any time of the year, so there really is no exception for me. But now that the cooler weather has finally arrived, nothing creates a cozy atmosphere better than bowl a warm soup.
The soup that I'm sharing with you is quite unusual, but so tasty. I promise. Each ingredient is a superfood, and each ingredient speaks for itself.
This soup is one you will probably find on the menu at a fine cuisine restaurant. Creamy and nutty texture lauded with mushrooms, tons of flavors in every spoonful. The sweet nutty flavor of parsnips is natural with roasted walnuts and almonds in this rich and velvety soup.
First time I had this soup was at my friend's house. It was late September and the
soup was served as a first course at their dinner party. I had a hard time holding back on my portion so that I could leave some room in my tummy for the rest of the meal. It was that good.
Since then, I've tasted many soups made by Lesa. She practically saved my life, when I was going through my first and second trimesters with baby Matrona. And the only thing I could eat was soup. Imagine soup for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and oh yes, I almost forgot about my midnight snack. She didn't just open up cans of soup and heat them up. She made many batches of soups from scratch and kept bringing them over to me.
WHY FROM SCRATCH?
No time to cook, and no time to make a meal from scratch? Ok, busy mom, I get it. But think again if it's ok to put all your family on a processed food roller-coaster just to have an hour to drive your little one to practice learning how to kick a ball at the soccer field, because he may or may not become a famous player. Think again if it's ok to put all that garbage in your body just for that.
Unfortunately, most store-bought soups have a variety of questionable ingredients. Such as:
Modified food starch: A highly processed starch that contains maltodextrin (often used as a name to hide the presence of Monosodium glutamate).
Monosodium glutamate: A food additive that may interfere with natural neurotransmitter production and according to many medical specialists, this can be a big problem for the whole endocrine system.
Soy protein concentrate: This is an ingredient you should always avoid.
Vegetable oil: chemically processed, high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and they have been characterized as "marauders" in the body for they attack cell membranes and red blood cells.
Other bad for your health ingredients: such as sugar, carrageenan salts, artificial flavors, natural flavor, soy lecithin, yeast extract, etc.
In addition, despite the “cream” on the label, canned soup has very little actual cream. Cream is the ninth ingredient on the list, after vegetable oil, processed flour, MSG, and other ingredients. The harsh truth: It isn’t even real cream! It is actually “dehydrated cream” containing milk and soy lecithin as a thickener.
Certainly, these ingredients are probably cheaper and much better for the bottom line of the companies producing processed foods, but they certainly aren’t better for us, THE CONSUMER!
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS SOUP?
Nuts - the original recipe that I had at my friend's dinner party was made with chestnuts, not to be confused with water chestnuts, but real tree nuts. For this recipe, we chose a combination of walnuts and almonds.
Parsnips - a white root vegetable that always sits next to the carrots in every supermarket. Although, not as popular as carrots, they do possess a beautiful mild earthy flavor that compliments the nutty flavor of this soup.
Onion - one regular onion.
Garlic - just 2-3 cloves, no more needed.
Walnut oil - the original recipe calls for it, we used almond oil, and any oil or butter you can use it here.
Mushrooms - button is what I had in my fridge when I did the video but of course portobello, porcini or even shiitake would be better because they provide more flavor. But even so, the simple button mushroom once it is sautéed with garlic provides a beautiful flavor. Also, garnish with some sliced raw button mushrooms, just for the texture.
Creme Fraiche - or regular heavy cream, then you will need to add one-two tablespoons of lemon juice. Creme fraiche it's something that once you try it, you won't go back to regular sour cream. And the health benefits are enormous. Please, read more about it here on how to make and how to use it.
Chicken stock - homemade is the best choice but use whatever you have on hand. Remember good stock is full of collagen and can be a meal itself. Any soup will sing with a good stock.
Spices - very simple: just salt, freshly ground black pepper and dried tarragon. You can easily use thyme or marjoram.
Parsley -just for the garnish. It is a pretty green color and always makes food eye appealing. Am I right?
ONE TOOL THAT YOU MUST HAVE
Soups are consumed all over the world, and there are many types of them. However, the traditional way of making soup is very time and energy consuming, so people are always looking for products that can significantly cut down the time they spend in the kitchen.
Fortunately, many blenders in the market efficiently make delicious soups, and they can do it in a short amount of time. So, if you can buy an immersion blender, this little inexpensive tool will save you time.
Let's make it...
By the way I love to have my dear friend cooking with me.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Serves: 8 people
6 Tablespoons of almond oil (or oil of your choice)
1 lb. parsnips, about 3 1/2 cups chopped (no need to peel, just wash well)
2 1/2 cups nuts (in the video I used a combination walnuts and almonds)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of chicken stock (I used homemade in the video)
4 cups of water (or more if you like on a thinner side soup)
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (leave 1/2 cup sliced raw mushrooms for garnish)
1 cup creme fraiche (plus one spoon per serving) or heavy cream with one Tablespoon of lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons of dried tarragon
1/2 cup chopped parsley (for garnish)
Preheat the oven 350F. In a baking sheet add the nuts in one layer. Place into the oven for about 8 minutes. Keep eye on the nuts because they can burn easily.
2. In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, heat 2 Tablespoons of oil. Add chopped onion, salt, black pepper and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until nice and soft with some caramelization here and there.
3. In another frying pan with a heavy bottom add 2 Tablespoons of oil and chopped parsnips, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir once in a while. Add tarragon.
4. Pour sautéed parsnips into the saucepan with the sautéed onions, add chicken stock, and bring slowly to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in the same frying pan add the last 2 Tablespoons of oil, add mushrooms with garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Stir once in a while and once they are cooked, set them aside.
6. To the saucepan with onions and parsnips add roasted nuts, stock, water and using an immersion blender and blend everything together to your preference. Add sautéed mushrooms and garlic. Stir all together and remove from the heat. Let cool for a minute or so.
7. Now add the creme fraiche, it's important, if you decide to use creme fraiche to add it into the pot only after the soup has cooked and is in the cooling stage. Add it this way in order to preserve all good bacteria contained
in the creme fraiche. If you are using heavy cream, add at the end of the cooking before taking off from the heat along with one Tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir all together.
8. Give it a taste for seasoning.
9. Pour soup into a bowl, garnish with a few thinly sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with some parsley and place one dollop of creme fraiche on top of it. Enjoy this wonderful soup with your friends or family.