I have a divided house when it comes to silky smooth soups that only contain vegetables and no cream. Pureed smooth, they show off the amazing flavor of just the vegetables without anything masking their natural deliciousness. I love them…a lot. They are creamy without being loaded with cream. They are smooth and comforting and light. I want them in my belly.
The other person in this house does not like them because, well…they are creamy without being loaded with cream and they are smooth and light and in his words, “like baby food”. He wants heartiness. He wants carbs. He wants meat. He wants cream. He wants butter. He wants bacon. Do I live with Paula Dean?
And I craaaave creamy soups that have NO cream but are just ALL vegetables. I love smooth and creamy tomato soup, or carrot soup, or butternut squash soup. And every time I make them, my poor hubs has to eat this nourishing amazing bowl of yumminess and smile and leave ALL the leftovers for me. GOOD. Best lunches EVER. He can have his can of tuna and weird packages of sardines for lunch. Meanwhile, I will enjoy my creamy roasted soups and everyone at work will smell them and say “whoa…what are you having?”. In a good way. At least, that’s how it plays out in my head.
I stumbled on this Parsnip and Apple soup the other day on the most beautiful blog called Golubka Kitchen and I instantly began drooling. I couldn’t get the soup out of my brain box. I adapted it to roast the parsnips and I swapped out the potatoes for cauliflower. I found fennel on sale at the store and so I through it in as well to round out the awesome white soup. I recommend saving some of the fennel fronds and some thyme for topping these delicious bowls of comfort. The soup is also yummy with a good drizzle of olive oil.
So despite knowing that I have a divided house on smooth and creamy dreamless soups, I MADE it. and I loooooved it. I recommend you do the same, because then you will have a few days worth of amazing lunches and they get stuck with canned tuna.
Creamy Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Fennel Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free, and Paleo-Friendly)
Adapted from Golubka Kitchen
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish
- 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- 1/2 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 large fennel bulb, sliced into 1/2-inch wide slices
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for drizzling on finished soup bowls)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more for seasoning)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (plus more for garnish)
- 3 to 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toppings: thyme leaves, olive oil, yogurt, quinoa
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
- Place chopped parsnips, cauliflower florets, fennel slices, apple slices, and garlic cloves in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Toss to coat evenly and then spread evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing at 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Place half of vegetables into a blender or food processor along with half of the chicken stock, cumin, and thyme. Blend well for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the pureed mixture to a medium stock pot. Blend next batch of roasted vegetables and remaining chicken stock for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer remaining soup puree to stock pot.
- Heat soup in stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Add additional liquid if soup is too thick. Adjust seasonings as needed.
- Distribute evenly into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil and thyme leaves. I added some quinoa to mine for a more substantial dinner.