This soup is one of my favorite recipes, especially for the fall. It’s just thick enough to give you a feeling of warmth when the weather turns chilly, but still on the light side so it’s a good one to precede a big meal. Carrots and parsnips are both sweet so this soup usually appeals to everyone, even vegetable haters. It has both sweetness and snap because I’ve included fresh ginger and some cumin and coriander. And almost best of all — you can prepare it ahead of time! That makes it perfect for a holiday dinner when you have so many other things to do and recipes to cook! I have prepared this soup three days before serving. I like it as a first course to turkey, which I always make on Rosh Hashanah, but I know it will be just as good if you’re serving brisket, chicken or any other roast.
The soup is fine if you serve it as is, but if you add a garnish or two it really gives it a festive touch that makes it more special for holiday meals. Simple strands of chives will do. Or crumbled pita crisps or croutons. If you want to bulk it up you can make dumplings (just mix some beaten egg and flour and drop it by the forkful into the soup and let it cook for a few minutes).
You can also make this extra rich as a cream soup for a dairy meal. Add some half–and-half cream at the end and heat through (of course, this would make it dairy, so if you keep a kosher home, be sure to use vegetable stock). Or serve it with a dollop of plain yogurt on top.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes or until softened.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
4. Add the carrots, parsnips, cumin, coriander, and some salt and pepper to taste.
5. Cook for another minute, stirring ingredients.
6. Add the stock and one cup water, bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, about 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
7. Puree the soup and return it to the pan to reheat.
Makes 4–6 servings.