Lately I have really been noticing how bright the evenings are getting and it makes me very happy and positive! I am planning to do loads of hiking and exploring nature this year so I can’t wait until the days are little bit longer to facilitate this better. I am yet to see my first snowdrop, but they are out, and the other spring flowers will be following soon. Although sadly the seasons are getting increasingly altered -I did a double take when I spotted my favourite tree, cherry, fully blossoming in the middle of december so perhaps I shouldn’t be using flowers to gauge the arrival of spring!
Although spring is somewhat in the air, it’s not quite in the weather yet, and here in Ireland the coldest winter weather can last into March so I am still making lots of warming winter dishes like this creamy roasted root vegetable soup. Root veggies such as these are in season here at the moment, making them plentiful and cheap. Roasting the vegetables and using fresh herbs instead of dried really adds flavour to this soup, while the cashew nuts add a creamy texture along with some extra protein. I brought a big tub of this in to work for my lunches last week. I had no wheat free bread so I dipped dark rye crispbreads in to it which was delicious!
I made this soup in my new high powered blender, my new favourite thing! I’ve been having green smoothies every morning for breakfast made with my own homemade almond milk, and love making my own blend of almond butter with a hint of coconut. I had been wanting to get a Vitamix for months, but I couldn’t justify the expense. I ended up buying a similar blender for half the price, but with all the same functionality. Time will tell if I would have been better off buying the Vitamix but my brand has a seven year warranty so that sounds good to me! I think that the extra money would just have be paying for the brand name!
Obviously I am going to be using my blender for a lot of recipes from now on, but I still want my recipes to be adaptable and accessible,, so wherever possible I will adapt the recipe to be made with more standard kitchen equipment also. Take this soup for example -I made mine in the blender but you can make it on the stove also. If you don’t have a high powdered blender to blend the cashews, use unsweetened almond milk instead to add some creaminess. I list both ways in the recipe below.
- 1/2 medium Turnip
- 1 medium Parsnip
- 2 medium Carrot
- 1 small bulb Fennell
- 3/4 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
- 3/4 tbsp Fresh Thyme
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- Up to 1 litre boiling water or stock
- 1/2 cup cashews (soaked overnight) or 200ml unsweetened almond milk
Roast cubes of the turnip, parsnip, carrot and fennell at 200 degrees celcius for 30 – 40 minutes until browned and tender. Cooking time will depend on the size of your cubes. Add the garlic about half way through.
To make in a high powered blender, transfer the drained, soaked cashews to the blender along with about 100ml of water. Blend until smooth. You can adjust the quantity of water to get the creamy consistency which you prefer. Then add the stock or water, followed by the roast vegetables and herbs. You might need to do this in batches. Season and blend until you get your desired consistency. Depending on your vegetables, you may want to add some more water. I like to serve this as a very smooth, but thick soup. If you want to eat the soup straight away, check if it’s warm enough for you. If not, if you run the blender long enough, the friction heat will have it warmed up after a few minutes. You can also just reheat it on the stove.
To make this soup entirely on the stove, transfer the roast vegetables to a large pot, add the unsweetened non dairy milk along with the water or stock (reduced to about 800ml) and herbs. Season and bring to the boil. Simmer for about twenty minutes to allow the flavours to infuse, and then puree with a hand held blender if desired.