It really doesn’t take much to encourage soup making in our home. While we might take a little breather from ladling out soups during the warmest months of the year, I’m fully ready to pull out my favorite soup pot with the first tinge of golden leaves or slightest gentle breeze announcing the change of season. From early fall through winter, and most of spring, soups are a weekly feature on our menu.

There are so many ways to go with soup that variety is never a concern. Whether you want a hearty chop of ingredients, both meat and veggie; a veggie-centric or vegan offering; something that satisfies a cultural bent (whether it be Italian, Mexican, Indian, or some other great flavor profile); one that incorporates legumes or pasta; or simply want to clear your cupboards, the options are seemingly endless when it comes to soup.

One path I like to take, particularly with a puréed soup, is roasting veggies. There are so many great partnerships for roasting… and the flavor imparted is magical, particularly when you add a little onion to the mix. The intensity of onions mellows when roasted, resulting in a wonderful, subtle caramelized flavor.

Parsnips are tapered, winter root vegetables that closely resemble carrots in shape. Though related to carrots, parsnips are a touch sweeter and more earthy and nutty in profile. They are also white (actually more beige colored) so easily distinguished from their produce “twin.” They also contain more starch than carrots so they make an excellent thickener for a puréed soup. They are at their peak from fall through spring… so they parallel nicely with the introduction of soup weather… and best in small to medium form (for sweetest, nuttiest flavor).

Roasted along with onion, parsnips get a little caramelized and delicious… easy to eat right off the pan. But a little restraint goes a long way because once they get a little roast on, they improve even more with the addition of fresh, crisp apple. Yes, apple! Oftentimes, the flavor profile of a roasted veggie soup needs a little added sweetener… and this is where Stemilt apples (and pears, too) come in beautifully, adding just the right sweetness to balance most any veggie to perfection.

Added for the last 10 minutes of roast time, a crisp (heat friendly) apple, like Stemilt’s Sweet Tango, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Piñata, etc. enhances everything good these parsnips and onions have going for themselves. In this particular ladling, I used Stemilt’s SweeTango apple, for its sweet hint of fall spice and touch of acidity… a combination that helps to liven the even flavor notes of parsnip. Stemilt’s SweeTango apple is a versatile fruit, whether you serve it up fresh, add it to a sauce, or feature it in a baked good. Here, it perfectly balances the roasted parsnips and onion for a deliciously flavored soup. The addition of a little topper… a garlicky kale and turkey bacon sauté… adds a welcomed bit of bite to this otherwise stand-alone soup.

(If you want to keep things vegetarian, simply go with a vegetable based broth and omit the turkey bacon… that garlicky kale sauté easily stands on its own. And, if you prefer a velvety finish, you can easily strain the soup after it’s puréed, for a smoother finish. Here it’s left more organic… the way nature intended… and time appreciates.)

Roasted Apple & Parsnip Soup, topped with Sautéed Garlicky Kale and Turkey Bacon

Ingredients

  • 3 Stemilt SweeTango apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 6 to 7 medium parsnips, trimmed, peeled and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 strips turkey bacon, thinly sliced
  • 6 to 8 large kale leaves, ribs removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch kosher salt, to taste

This Roasted Apple and Parsnip Soup has a subtle caramelized flavor, and is the perfect dish for autumn.

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  • Yield
    10 servings servings
  • Prep time
  • Cook time
  • Total time
  • Cuisine
    American
  • In Category
    Dinner

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place diced parsnips and onions on a large baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  3. Toss to combine, then spread mixture to single layer on pan. Roast in oven for approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Then add diced apples to mixture, toss lightly, and return to oven to roast an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  6. Add sliced turkey bacon and cook for approximately 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned.
  7. Add sliced kale to skillet, season with garlic. Toss intermittently until kale is somewhat wilted through, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add pinch of kosher salt, to taste (turkey bacon may be enough salt, to taste, so test kale prior to seasoning). Remove from heat and set aside.

To prepare soup,

  1. Blend broth and cooled, roasted veggies/apples together, in batches, in high speed blender.
  2. Transfer each batch to large pot, until all mixture has been puréed. Add additional broth to soup, as necessary, for desired consistency. (Reserve remaining broth to add for future servings, as needed.)
  3. Warm puréed soup through and serve topped with kale-turkey bacon mixture, as preferred.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 180.5
  • Fat Content: 6.0
  • Protein Content: 3.4
  • Carbohydrate Content: 30.1
  • Fiber Content: 6.0
  • Sugar Content: 12.9g