Pureed Parsnip and Cardamom Soup with Caramelized Shallots

By alasully
February 14, 2012
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Author Notes: Cardamom keeps sneaking its way into my recipes as of recent -- its unique versatility to play sweet or savory roles makes it a great spice to play with. Here it partners with the humble parsnip, the two complementing each other's spicy-sweet flavors. A simmer in a bath of almond milk and broth, followed by a quick whirl of the immersion blender, transforms the knobby root to a luxuriously smooth soup. Caramelized shallots add texture and round out the sweet flavor profile of the soup. alasully

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 4 to 5 parsnips, around 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  1. Peel parsnips and remove tough woody core. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
  2. Halve a medium onion, peel it and cut roughly into sixths.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat; add onion, and saute until soft and brown, about 5 minutes. Add chopped parsnips to the pan and saute with the onion until parsnips begin to brown slightly.
  4. Add 2 cups vegetable broth and 1/2 cup almond milk, plus more as desired for creaminess. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 teaspoons ground cardamom. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until parsnips are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. When parsnips are soft, remove from heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or food processor / regular blender) until you reach a smooth consistency.
  6. Garnish with caramelized shallots. To prepare: thinly slice 2 shallots and saute with olive oil until soft; add 1 tsp maple syrup and cook until browned and caramelized.

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