Parsnips (Pastinaca sativa) are an easy to prepare root vegetable closely related to carrots and parsley root which are members of the Umbellifer family. They can be eaten raw, baked, mashed, boiled, breaded and fried or added to soups and stews for additional flavour and nutrition. Parsnips have a sweet, earthy, spicy taste. They are low in fat and rich in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and anti-aging properties. 1 cup of parsnips contains 25% of the RDI of both vitamin C and K and 22% RDI of B6/Folate as well as magnesium, thiamine, phosphorus and zinc! Definitely a winter superfood full of health boosting nutrients that stores well for months in the refrigerator.
The high fiber content in parsnips helps treat digestive conditions, improves gut health and can aid in weight loss. Fiber has a high water content and passes slowly through the digestive tract helping you feel fuller for longer and assists with stool frequency. Parsnips are high in antioxidant photochemicals including: quercetin, kaempferol and apigenin. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage from free radicals and provide protection against chronic conditions such as cancers, diabetes and heart disease. The high levels of vitamin C support the immune system and can improve overall health.
In the winter months I eat a lot of soups. There’s nothing quite as comforting as a nice hot bowl of homemade soup on a cold day. Good for the body and soul! I found this recipe for sweet potato and parsnip soup and I’ve made a few batches this winter. Definitely a favourite. It’s deliciously warming and so simple to make! I’m also a huge fan of sweet potatoes .. another amazing vegetable! I used our Sustainable Kitchen “Beef Bone Broth” as stock which added such a deep, rich flavour to this soup. I highly recommend you give it a try!
Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large leek, sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 lb sweet potatoes, diced
1/2 lb parsnips, diced
4 cups stock (beef bone broth)
salt and pepper
chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1. Heat oil in large saucepan and add the leek, celery, sweet potatoes and parsnips. Cook gently for 5 minutes.
2. Stir in stock and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally. Season to taste.
3. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
4. Use food processor or immersion blender to purée.
5. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Stores well for a week in refrigerator and freezes well.