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Maybe you have a vegetable nemesis or two like I do. Follow me along the stalls at a farmer's market and I'll be stuffing my basket with asparagus, artichokes, fava beans, spinach, zucchini; you get the idea. But I'll pass right by a bin of parsnips. They've always seemed sickly sweet and oddly medicinal tasting to me. But this week parsnips were part of our CSA share and, honestly, I hate to turn my nose up to any food. So I toted them home with high hopes of finding a new recipe.
That's where my friend Lorraine came in. I sat down to my computer and there was a message from her titled, "Gingered Carrot and Parsnip Soup," with a note that the soup was excellent. The recipe called for heavy cream, which I didn't have on hand. But I did have raw cashews and a note to myself to try the cashew cream I'd read about in Joy's recipe for "Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup."
Making the cashew cream is simple; soak raw cashews in water for at least an hour and up to 24 hours. Drain the cashews and place in a blender with enough water to cover them by about an inch; blend until smooth. Amazing! I have nothing against heavy cream, but this is a respectable substitution. (I love it drizzled over this Vegan Butternut Squash Soup and this Delicata Squash Soup too!)
The soup is a double success - I won't likely pass the parsnip bin next time and cashew cream is a nice addition to my staple recipes. Thank you Lorraine and Joy!
Gingered Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Cashew Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for at least an hour and up to 24 hours
- 2 large parsnips shredded
- 4 large carrots shredded
- 2 inch fresh ginger peeled and finely grated (a microplane grater is good for this)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- minced fresh chives optional
For the cashew cream:
- Drain the cashews from their soaking water and add to the jar of a blender. Add water to cover cashews by about 1-inch and blend until smooth.
For the soup:
- Heat the parsnips, carrots, broth, and ginger in a soup pot over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
- If you have an immersion blender, use it to puree the soup while it’s still hot. If you’re using a traditional blender, let the soup cool for a bit and then blend in batches. (If you’re using a traditional blender and the soup is still warm, fill the jar about halfway, cover the lid with a dry towel, and hold down manually to keep the liquid from spraying out.)
- Season the pureed soup to taste with salt and ground white pepper. Add the lemon juice and cashew cream and bring to a simmer again over medium heat. Garnish with chives if you like and serve.