A Twitter reply I received yesterday made me think. Have you ever been asked what your “guilty pleasure” is. Or used the word “guilt” when it comes to food. I don’t feel guilty in any area of life if I’m experiencing pleasure. I don’t have the brain space for that. Too tiring. Especially if I’m enjoying something delicious, don’t bother me, I’m eating.
If I’m supposed to test recipes for my work and this blog and my mind was consumed with guilt, I wouldn’t get anywhere–and I’d be hungry. Excuse me, I’d be “hangry.”
It’s creamy. It’s dreamy. It’s full of the meaty, cinnamon-spiced blonde carrot–the parsnip. And roasted garlic, which I’m completely obsessed with right now. If a recipe has garlic in it, why not roast it? It turns into a meltingly delicious savoury-sweet purée that magically transforms your kitchen into an aromatic paradise. Plus, when you tell people that the soup has roasted garlic in it, you sound über gourmet (even if it was decidedly less work than peeling and chopping a raw clove–but shhhh, don’t tell them your culinary witchcraft ways!). Bang a whole head or clove in the oven and be done with it. It’s a little bit of kitchen trickery just in time for Halloween. BOO!
So, please join me in consuming this ultra-pleasurable, ultra-rich, ultra-decadent, ultra-silky soup. It’s easy and elegant. A meal in itself really, with the white beans and vegetables. Imagine this as a starter for a holiday feast. Or get all curled up in front of the fire with a big blanket and good book. All of your wildest, cold-weather dreams will come true with this soup.
Don’t you want to dive right in there and treat your taste buds? I know I do. My batch is all gone and I’m pining for more. Oh, and this soup freezes a treat, so you can make it today and serve it a month from now at your Thanksgiving feast, if you celebrate in November. But don’t forget to tell your guests it contains, repeat after me: Roasted. Garlic.; they’ll go gaga for that stuff as it sounds like you really took a lot of time and care in preparing it, when it was no extra sweat. People like to be cuddled with food prepared from scratch for them, even though you know deep down it was a semi-self-indulgent act because you get to eat it too. But I will take any compliment on my cooking, thank you very much.
You can have your cream soup and eat it too–with a generous helping of pleasure. Mmm mmm good.
- 4-6 extra large cloves garlic, skin intact, left whole
- 1lb parsnips (about 4), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 onion, cut into rough pieces
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil[/url], plus more for drizzling
- 1 tbsp dried whole or fresh rosemary
- ½ tsp to 1 tbsp sea salt (use enough to your taste)
- Ground pepper, to taste
- 1, 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed OR 2 cups cooked white beans
- 6 cups no salt added vegetable broth
- Water, as needed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
- Pumpkin seeds, to serve
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss garlic, parsnips, onion, oil, rosemary, salt (to taste), and pepper. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until garlic and parsnips are tender and turning golden.
- Once cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins into a blender, along with roasted vegetables, beans, water or broth, and lemon juice (this may need to be done in 2 batches); purée until smooth, adding more water or broth if too thick (depends on dryness of parsnips). Or, add ingredients to a large pot and purée with an immersion blender.
- Transfer blended soup to a large pot. Heat over medium, stirring frequently so bottom doesn't scorch. Season with additional salt, if desired. Serve hot with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and drizzle of olive oil.