Butternut, Parsnip and Apple Soup (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

12 Jan

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 5

Happy 2014, everyone! I hope yours is off to a good start. Weather notwithstanding, January has been much better than December for me. And that’s even with not drinking all month. And those of you who know me or read this blog regularly know that this is not normal for me. And I don’t miss the alcohol as much as something else…

I’ve been pining for winter. I shouldn’t complain, really, but while the rest of the United States is being frozen by the “polar vortex”, the same weather condition is making it hot and bothered here in California.

I’ve given up hoping that it will even rain. It’s going to be 80°F next week for three days. I’m worried that the entire city of Santa Barbara will spontaneously combust at any moment. And I’ll be honest—sunny days with cloudless skies do not make me feel in the Christmas spirit at all, which made my December a bit miserable.

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 7Again, I shouldn’t complain, and I have lived in this area for much of my life, so I don’t know why I’m that shocked. It’s just that the heat doesn’t usually last this long—yes, a week here and there, but months? Can’t we have season-appropriate weather? I will confess that when it gets below 60°F here in Southern California, people wear stupid things like wool scarves, shorts with UGG boots and socks with sandals. They have no idea how to drive in the rain, and rain that is predicted to last more than overnight is labeled a “stormwatch”. Dramatically.

Calm down, people. Have you ever been to…oh, I don’t know, ANYWHERE else? This kind of weather shift happens often and, I promise you, it’s not the sign that Armageddon is on it’s way.

I wish I could send some of this heat to the ice-locked Midwest. In the meantime, I guess I’ll pretend it’s August.

But it was slightly less hot for a few days, and I managed to make some soup. It’s warming without being heavy, as the apple really brightens the flavor. The second time I served it, I sautéed some Brussels sprouts with bacon and added them to the top of the soup like a garnish, which worked really well. You could also add some toasted almonds to the top to give it some crunch.

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 8

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3 whole carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 small parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1½ tablespoons almond oil
  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat (or oil, for vegetarian/vegan version)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Braeburn apple, chopped
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk or coconut yogurt
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Toss squash and carrots with almond oil, and arrange in a baking dish and roast uncovered for 35 minutes or until tender.

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 1In a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat, heat bacon fat or oil. Add the onion and apple to the dutch oven or stock pot and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sage and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 3Add the roasted butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, apple, sage, chicken or vegetable broth and coconut milk to dutch oven or stock pot and bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to blend your soup or, working in several small batches, blend soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add more stock if it’s too thick for your liking.

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 4Return to dutch oven or stock pot, bring to a simmer and season with salt, pepper and spices. Serve soup in large bowls garnished with sage leaves.

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 6


15 Responses to “Butternut, Parsnip and Apple Soup (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan)”

  1. meryoungson January 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    This looks so yummy! I forgot about parsnips..

  2. ayearinredwood January 13, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    I have the solution! Honestly, I can resolve your ‘blue sky’ dilemma….. let’s swap! You can come and mind pigs…. grey skies and muddy fields…. and I’ll suffer the blue skies…. I’m kind like that 🙂

    • tinykitchenstories January 13, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

      I’m not sure if the pigs would survive my care! 😉 But seriously, send over some grey skies and muddy fields. I’m going to dry up! Thanks for your assistance. 😉

  3. lorrielorrieb January 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    That’s why I still think you would find Victoria agreeable! We never get the bitter cold and snow associated with living in Canada, but we do get a change of season so you know when to change footwear! The soup looks great!

    • tinykitchenstories January 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

      It sounds a bit like the weather I experienced in London. I love Santa Barbara, but this weather is driving me crazy! It’s not supposed to be this dry in Central California. Please send rain! 🙂

  4. An Unrefined Vegan January 14, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    Sounds (and looks) delicious! Love the apple in there. Weather…we’ve had some bitter cold here (unusual for us) but are now in a mini heat-wave (upper 60s). Wacko. But to get a warm spell in January is a pretty nice thing. Hope it cools down a little for you!

    • tinykitchenstories January 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

      Me too! It’s 81 degrees today, and the Santa Ana winds are driving my allergies nuts. I’m glad you’ve gotten a little heatwave to brighten up your January. I hope you try the soup when it dips back down!

  5. Lauren Bair January 15, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I was feeling the same way about the holidays until I went to the East Coast and promptly frozened my ass off. But with this 80 degree weather, I’m like — “OK, It’s summer.” Lean in to it. But this soup looks amazing and I’m making it. Heat wave be damned.

    Also, I learned what “red flag warning” means. Do you guys have that in SB? It’s the time where you don’t park on the street if you’re a rich person and live in the twisty little roads in the Hills (where the fires can start).

    Thankfully, my tax bracket doesn’t have this parking problem 😉


    • tinykitchenstories January 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      That’s how I’m starting to feel about cooking–heatwave be damned! I’m going to make whatever the hell I feel like making. I should be grateful that this weather is making it easier being on a cleanse!

      And as for Red Flag Warnings, most of the rich people up here have massive estates that probably have their own ZIP code and fire department. Our tax bracket does not match this either, but we do have a lot of extremely dry eucalyptus trees surrounding our house that will go up like roman candles… Pray for us if you hear of fire in Santa Barbara! 😉

  6. girlinafoodfrenzy January 17, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Wow. If ever there was proof that global warming exists, this would be it! Yep, your weather is nearly on par with our Sydney summer, I’m guessing 80F is late 20’s in Celsius. Nonetheless beautitful soups and foods still coming from your kitchen and I hope you enjoy the seasons, whatever they bring!

    • tinykitchenstories January 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Thank you! I’m hoping this hot streak breaks soon. It’s hard to cook and eat “winter” foods in this weather… 😉

  7. dedy oktavianus pardede February 22, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    Healthy and comforting meals…
    lovin it with tons of rendered bacon topping!!!

    • tinykitchenstories February 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      Thank you! I still have a little in the freezer…your comment reminded me of it. The apple makes it light while the bacon makes it hearty!

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