I am still alive. It is just that time of year when my whole being wants to swell with all the family I can get and the blog world gets shut out. It is this time of year that I am glad that I don't get paid to blog and have to blog on demand. I do have things to say....I will fill you in on the conversations going on in my head but all in due time. I will be a little poky for the next month. You understand.
I just returned from the beautiful canyons of Utah. They are breathtaking and rejuvenating. It was wonderful to have life halted for a week and to just take in the beauty of the earth and the love of family. We packed 22 family members into one beautiful home for crazy fun. Conversations until 2 am, nightly; musical jam sessions by my amazingly talented family; all 22 of them attending and LOTS of food! I won't go into details about the Thanksgiving dinner but when you have a family of chef's; it comes out something of grandeur. I would rob someone for this stuffing. It is really that good.
Now back at home, reality is awaiting. The reality is that I have been eating way too much treats and need to get back into the healthy lifestyle. My body is begging me along with pleading with me to get back into the gym routine. Such an inner struggle after two back to back vacations. I have had way to much meat and am trying to create meals with little to no meat and no dairy and no sugar and all organic and all from scratch and of course all under an hour. Sometimes I get stumped and I am sitting on that stump right now. Time to get some inspiration.
I started to look through some cookbooks tonight for some new ideas. I am really sick of my usuals. It was soup weather and I wanted a new soup to slip down my palate. The Backyard Farmer delivered some tasty treats to me yesterday so I had a variety to choose from. (P.S., he now has corn/soy free chicken feed and organic beef and chicken. Yipee!) I had a pound of parsnips and found a soup that intrigued me. Creamy Parsnip and Apple soup. Don't knock it until you have tried it. Super yum.
First, in case you didn't know about the parsnip in detail, let me explain:
Parsnips have been around for a very long time. When the potato became popular, they in turn became a little less popular as they do take on the flavor a bit of a potato. They are a very under appreciated vegetable but loaded with nutrition and very easy to use. They look like a white carrot and have a mild flavor. They are great to roast or steam or add to a soup. They contain lots of folate and B3 which is super important for pregnant women. They are also low in calories and packed with fiber to help get the wast out of the body. They are a superior food for liver and kidney health. They are also rich in vitamin C and potassium.
When selecting a parsnip, you want one about the size of a large carrot and with smooth skin. Peel them like a carrot and cut them as desired.
Here is the soup I made last night. The flavor was perfect and I loved it pureed but the kids would have liked a little more chunks. I made it totally dairy free but it tasted like a cream filled soup. You definitely did not need dairy in this. I served it with a whole grain cinnamon roll made with coconut sugar. Delicious and perfect for a cold night! Enjoy!
Creamy Parsnip and Apple Soup
Adapted from Martha Stewart
3 T. butter, olive oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 lbs. leeks
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 apples, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3/4 lbs. red or white potatoes, peeled and cut 1 inch.
24 oz. chicken broth
3-4 cups water
1 C. almond milk or milk/cream
salt and pepper
Prepare leeks by cutting top greens off so that the whites and the light green are remaining. Take off outer layer and slice into small circles. Saute in butter or oil for 5 minutes. Add parsnips, potatoes and apples along with chicken broth and 3 cups water. Add more water if needed so that veggies are covered with enough water. Pressure cook at second ring for 6 minutes or bring to boil and simmer about 20-25 minutes until veggies are tender.
Puree soup in blender until smooth or leave some chunks. Add more liquid if needed. Add almond milk/cream and salt and pepper to taste.
*****I will placing oil/supplement orders on Tuesday.