Creamy Oxblood Soup (Parsnip and Beet)
I don’t mean for the name to be off-putting. Creamy Oxblood Soup (really it’s parsnip and beet soup). I hope it wasn’t. Since you’re reading this I’m assuming it was intriguing, as I intended it to be even if you thought a little gross. I’ll get to why I chose it in a minute. This is one of those recipes that when you hear the name you’re not necessarily dying to try it but trust me, it’s good. It’s so good in fact that I loved it and I hate beets. My kids loved it, too! Whoa! Now you know it’s good. It’s also very pretty. That’s what started this idea…the look and color of beets even though I’m not a fan.
I’ve talked in the past about where some of my inspiration comes from. Whole Foods is a huge source for me. I walk around the produce section admiring all the lovely things and eventually choosing what I’ll be making for the week. I think that’s fairly normal…being inspired by fresh fruits and vegetables. What may not be considered “normal” is being inspired by shapes and colors.
Remember when the red lip trend started up? Well this year/season it’s oxblood. A deep reddish purple, almost blood color. I love it. I don’t wear it often. I’m more of a nude lip girl but I love the look of it. I wanted to make a soup that reflected that color. Strange I know but it’s the way my brain works. I love color and color palettes and even more to be able to create something in my kitchen that mimics what I saw in a fashion magazine or on a stranger walking into a restaurant somewhere. I also love shapes and love to try and create things that the shape is inspiring.
This wonderful parsnip and beet soup is more magenta than oxblood but it was so much fun coming up with a healthy recipe with so much vibrant color. And just in time for Valentine’s Day! That wasn’t even on my mind but it’s a happy coincidence for me.
If you’re not a beet fan, don’t worry. Even though this soup is heavy with beets, it doesn’t have that super
dirty earthy flavor that you get when eating beets alone. I added parsnips to the soup to calm that part down and it worked great. I, along with my trusty helper and taste tester Skittles, added lots of complimenting and contrasting flavors and we came up with an amazing combination of spice and savoriness that I love.
Because long cooking times, high heat and boiling strips vegetables and other foods of their nutrients, I wanted to retain every single healthy benefit possible so I steamed the beets and parsnips in coconut milk with a little butter. I even added the beet greens to the steaming basket in the hopes of getting some of their nutrients. The greens have the most nutrients of the beet plant and I wanted to eek out as many vitamins and minerals as possible. Once everything was steamed I took the coconut milk from the bottom of the steamer and added it to a pot along with the beet root, stalks and parsnips. Since I went to the trouble of steaming (it was actually really fast and no trouble at all) I kept the heat really low. Just enough to warm everything. I dumped in my liquid and spices and then pureed it all together with my immersion blender. If you don’t like pureed soups, keep half the veggies out and dice them and add back once you’ve given the other half a good blend so you’ll have some chunks. If you’re not going for presentation as much as you are for health value, you could add in the greens. It may not even change the color up much.
I promise this is the last savory soup I’ll dump on you guys for a while. Deal?
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 cans coconut milk (light would work fine)
- 1/2 cup of half and half
- 3 medium size beets, scrubbed and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (just so that they're similar in size)
- 3 medium to large parsnips, scrubbed and sliced into rounds
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
- Sour cream as garnish, optional
- In the bottom of a microwave steamer basket add 1/4 cup coconut milk and 2 tablespoons butter.
- Place cut vegetables along with beet greens in the basket and stem for 5 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. If the vegetables don't fit leaving plenty of room for the steam to surround them, steam in batches.
- Once tender, add parsnips and beets, discarding the greens, to a large stock pot along with all the other ingredients and bring to a very low simmer.
- When contents of the pot are warmed through blend using an immersion blender.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- If it's too thick it can be thinned with stock or half and half.
- Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream.
So what’s your favorite? A creamy soup or a broth based clear soup? Hope you enjoy and aren’t ready to write me off because I made a soup and called it blood?