If you’re in the northern hemisphere, chances are it’s starting to feel a lot like fall: cooler, crisp, a little blustery; if you’re eating intuitively you’re probably beginning to crave more warm, comforting foods. Sweet, hearty root vegetables fit the bill perfectly this time of year. Today we’re working with two fall favorites—parsnips and apples—and blending them into a creamy soup spiked with warming seasonal spices. This simple recipe is great for a busy Meatless Monday, but will also do double time on your holiday table as well.
Why We’re Eating Parsnip Apple Soup Now
Wellness rituals help us stay healthy. Adjusting your rituals seasonally allows you to tap into the powerful rhythm of nature which is always at work around you. Life is more easeful when you step into nature’s fluidity and move with it. Previously, we talked about a few ways to adjust your lifestyle in the fall; let’s go a little deeper now and talk about rituals in relation to what’s happening in your body now.
Just like they affect the trees, fall/winter’s cold, windy qualities tend to have a drying effect on your body. Dry, irritated skin is not only emotionally exacerbating, it also tends to be more vulnerable to allergens and pollutants. It’s always important to stay properly hydrated, but it’s worthwhile to put some additional emphasis on moisturizing now in order to protect and balance your skin. For the outside, make extra time for self-massage using warm oil (I like sesame but there are many oils from which to choose); for the inside, favor warm, heavy, oily foods (like today’s soup). Oil massages and eating healthy, rich foods both soothe the body by lubricating its tissues. These might seem like two small ways to care for yourself, but as part of a larger seasonally-adjusted lifestyle, they’re powerful.
Let’s Get Rich
For some people, the thought of rich fall food is delightful; for others, it takes some getting used to. If the thought of eating more heavy, oily foods makes you balk, hear me out. First, we’re talking about healthy foods like bananas, avocados, winter squash, beets, nuts, and for omnivores, a little wild fish and pastured meat. Second, don’t overthink it—this is a seasonal way of eating. Your body naturally craves richer foods in cold months. When spring arrives, your body will react to its distinctive qualities. At that time, it will work best with different foods containing less fat, and because you’re flowing with nature, you’ll adjust what you put on your plate accordingly when that time comes. Third, practice grace, always. Think of this transition to richer foods as gradual: add a little ghee here, some nuts there, and tune in to the natural flow of your appetite.
Feeling well is truly a lifestyle in which the concept of rhythm is key. Although activities like a yearly, week-long spa retreat are wonderful, real wellness is created thorough small consistent habits which complement and build on one another. Regularly eating simple homemade meals using fresh seasonal ingredients, along with other activities like adjusting your lifestyle seasonally, moving your body, and meditation add up to a kind of wellness which will allow you access to a you that’s present, calm, and just, well, beautiful. It’s the type of wellness which will light you up during the cold months, and on and on for many years to come.
Parsnip Apple Soup (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 Tablespoons ghee, butter, or extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 pounds parsnips
- 1 Fuji apple
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 4 sage leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage)
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- sea or pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Peel and coarsely chop the parsnips. Core and coarsely chop the apple.
- Melt ghee, butter, or olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the parsnips and apple, cover, and cook gently, stirring occasionally.
- Add the stock or water, sage, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the parsnips are very soft. Let the soup cool slightly.
- Puree the soup with a stick blender, stand blender, or food processor until smooth.
- If using a stand blender or food processor, transfer the soup back to the saucepan. Pour in the cream and reheat the soup gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with chopped sage leaves or parsley, and serve.
Additional Cooking Notes
- Parsnip apple soup is delicious served with homemade croutons or crusty bread and a hearty salad.
Photos by Shiraz Leyva