It's the season for beige food now, right? Have to be honest, I'm a big beige food fan. But this beige soup is surprisingly packed with flavor due to the amazing roasted fall veggies and apples. Parsnips have an almost minty flavor that is totally unique, and I absolutely love them. If you haven't tried them, consider this a great introduction. Here they are paired with the acidity of granny smith apples and a healthy amount of cashew cream, with a crunchy homemade crouton topping. This soup has everything you need to get warm and cozy.
4 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces*
2 medium granny smith apples, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
Medium yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
1 small onion, peeled, root cut off
1 tbsp neutral oil
Pinch of salt and pepper for roasting
3/4 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight
3/4 cup water
4 cups vegetable broth, or water with vegetable bouillon (I use Better than Bouillon)
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of nutmeg
*Larger parsnips can have a very firm section in the center. If it is particularly hard, remove it when you chop the parsnips. If your knife cuts through easily, you can leave it.
For the croutons:
1 slice of crusty bread per person
Oil for frying
Pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Add the chopped parsnips, apples, potato, and onion to a roasting pan. Toss with 1 tbsp of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 1 hour, until everything is very tender and has started to carmelize.
While the vegetables are roasting, add the soaked cashews and 3/4 cup water to a blender and blend on high until very smooth.
When the vegetables are done, let them cool for about 10 minutes, or until they can be handled. Add the vegetables to the blender (with the cashew mixture still in the blender) with 2 cups of vegetable broth. Blend, starting on low then turning the power up to high, until everything is smooth.
Add the puree to a pot with the additional 2 cups of vegetable broth. Add a pinch of cayenne and nutmeg. Taste the soup for salt. Add 1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste. When the soup is heated through, serve garnished with homemade croutons.
For the croutons: Chop your bread into 1-1.5 inch pieces. You don't want them to be too small, but they should still be bite sized. Generously coat a frying pan or cast iron skillet with oil. Heat the oil up on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the pieces of bread, sprinkle with salt, and fry for 5-7 minutes until crispy, flipping occasionally.