I don’t know why but I love health food stores….It’s not the smell or the plethora of people but something about all that good fresh food stimulates my creativity and my taste buds. My mind races as it goes back and fourth and looks for ways be both economical, while still focusing on the importance of eating organic, local, and most importantly, seasonal foods. So as I was walking through the produce jungle, I slowly turned toward the organic winter veggies. Some of the most power packed foods around! One common quality in winter veggies is their strong and often bitter or pungent flavor. Often with veggies like beets or brussel sprouts – you either love them or you hate them. One of the most delicious to please the palate with winter veggies is with a warming, flavorful soup, customized right to your taste buds.
Experiment with root vegetables, tubers, spices, and milk substitutes (like coconut or almond) and stay nourished and cozy this winter. Some suggestions of veggies to try include:
- Parsnips: Similar to carrots and other members of apiaceae family vegetables, the white carrot – parsnip too contains many poly-acetylene anti-oxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, and panaxydiol.
- Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.
- Butternut Squash: Like all members of the gourd family (which includes pumpkin, melon, and cucumber), butternut squash is technically a fruit because it contains seeds. Cut into its pale, yellow-beige hard skin, though, and you’ll discover a vibrant flesh that’s much denser than that of its relatives.
- Garlic: Research has shown that garlic is an effective immune stimulant and when you exercise aerobically and consume garlic in your diet, clinical trials has shown garlic increases the quality, quantity, and killing power of natural immuninty power food tenfold! This certainly is reason enough make garlic from part of your regular diet from the beginning to the end of flu season.
- Oregano: Oregano contains thymol and carvacrol, two oils that have remarkable bacteria-fighting power. Delicious in many winter soups and stews.
Want to make it more of a complete meal add a cup of cooked quinoa and garnish with your favorite yogurt or seeds.
Vegan Carrot & Parsnip Soup
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 3 carrots, peel and cut into ½ - inch rounds
- 3 parsnips, peel and cut into ½ - inch rounds
- 1 shallot, quartered
- 3 cups veggie stock (extra to blend, if necessary)
- ½ cup cashew butter
- 2-3 tbs. olive oil (or oil specific to your dosha)
- 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. black ground pepper
- ¼ tsp. fresh ginger
- ¼ tsp. fresh garlic
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the diced carrots, parsnips, garlic and shallots on a lined baking sheet in as even a layer as possible. Drizzle with the oil. Combine the salt, pepper, and ginger and sprinkle over everything. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Place the roasted vegetables in a food processor, blender or immersion blender and add in stock, cashew butter and apple cider vinegar. Puree the vegetables, adding additional stock, until desired consistency is reached. Pour into a pot and heat through, adjusting seasonings as needed. Serves 3-4, Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in a sealable container in the fridge or freezer.