I'm not nearly as fond of parsnips ordinarily, but their flavour makes an earthy and almost bitter contrast with beets that makes their pairing a pleasant surprise. In this simple and wholesome soup, both parsnips and carrots are puréed and added to beets separately to create multiple layers of flavour and colour that will warm and please the eyes and palates of your guests.
Roasted Beet Soup with Roasted Parsnip and Carrot PuréesOther winter vegetable recipes you may enjoy:
1 cup dried white kidney (cannellini) beans
4 medium beets
3 medium parsnips
3 medium carrots
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
Rinse the beans under cold running water and soak overnight in a bowl covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added.
Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas and add to a medium saucepan. Cover with 4 cups of vegetable stock and 1 cup of fresh cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°. Trim the vegetables, and wrap the beets, parsnips and carrots separately in foil. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast for 40 to 60 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven, let cool, and peel the skin off the beets. Cut the beets into coarse pieces and set aside.
Prepare the purées by placing the roasted parsnips and carrots in separate mixing bowls. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher. Add 1 1/2 cup of beans and cooking liquid to each bowl, and purée until smooth with a fork or using a hand blender. Add a little liquid to thin if necessary. Stir in a 1/4 teaspoon of salt in each purée and season with fresh ground black pepper. Set aside.
To make the soup, heat a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Toss in the thyme, stir once, then add the beets and pour in the remaining beans and cooking liquid from the beans. Raise the heat, bring to a slow boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, and purée the soup until smooth with a hand blender or in a countertop blender. Season with fresh ground black pepper and the remaining salt.
Ladle the soup into bowls and add a large spoonful each of the parsnip and carrot purées to each serving. Serve hot or warm. Serves 4 to 6.
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