YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Roasted Garlic, Parsnip and White Bean Soup

Here’s a soup to, yes, satisfy your sweet tooth! One thing I really love about certain foods, like garlic, parsnips, and onions (tomatoes, too), is that their sweetness develops rather dramatically when you roast them or leave them to cook slowly. And, frankly, there just aren’t enough parsnip recipes around for my taste. Remember though, that if you want to be able to enjoy the subtle sweetness of foods like these, you will want to moderate your intake of sugar and especially corn syrup, both of which tend to overwhelm your tastebuds and raise your threshold for tasting the lesser (though more complex and satisfying) kinds and amounts of sweetness in fruits and vegetables.

  • 6 large garlic cloves, left whole with peels intact
  • 4-5 parsnips, rinsed, peeled, and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle on top
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini or other white beans (or 1 15-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 6 c. vegetable stock
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (approx 1 Tbsp.)
  • pumpkin seeds to garnish

Preheat oven to 400F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the garlic, parsnips and onion with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast 45-55 minutes until garlic and parsnips are tender and turning golden. Remove and let cool 10-15 minutes.

Once the veggies are cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic from their skins into a blender or food processor. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients right in the pot. Add the roasted vegetables, broth and lemon juice, and puree, adding a bit more water if needed. Add the beans last, and pulse until the soup is just barely smooth .

Heat the soup slowly over a medium-low heat, stirring and checking often so it doesn’t burn. Sprinkle each bowl with a few pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with a simple green salad and a pile of homemade whole-grain croutons (easy-peasy), and remember to thank your lucky stars as you pick up your spoon. The best!

Serves 6. Thank you to for a prior version of this recipe.

One thought on “YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Roasted Garlic, Parsnip and White Bean Soup

  1. As always I will make a recipe you post!!
    Also, I read the Washington Post article Michael Ruhlman recently wrote. I love that he is quoting you and also grocery shopping with you? Like I posted on FB: You two are my favorite Cleveland ‘stars’ !!

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