This winter, don’t overlook parsnips—a sweet, nutty root vegetable with a flavor similar to a cross between a carrot and potato. Parsnips become sweeter when harvested after winter frosts, and have high levels of fiber, B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin C.
Many parsnip recipes call for a great deal of rich butter and heavy cream… delicious, but also sometimes complicated for people with digestive diseases or other health concerns. In this recipe, you roast the parsnips before pureeing, which helps their unique flavor shine, and then add vegetable or chicken stock to create the classic velvety smooth texture. Finishing the dish with a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of chopped fresh herbs helps make this simple dish special-occasion-worthy, while also being easier to digest and gluten-free.
- 1-1.5 pounds fresh parsnips (4 or 5)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 Bay leaf
- 3 c. low sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)
- Salt to taste (1 t.)
- Fresh pepper to taste (1/2 t.)
- 3 T. high-quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2-3 T. fresh herbs (parsley works well, along with chives, thyme, and/or rosemary)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash and dry parsnips, and slice in half lengthwise, and then into sticks of equal width to ensure they roast evenly.
- Toss parsnips with 1 T. olive oil.
- Place garlic in aluminum foil, and drizzle with a 1 t. olive oil, and wrap tightly.
- Place parsnips cut side down on the pan, along with the foil wrapped garlic, and roast for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove roasted parsnips and garlic from the oven; unwrap garlic cloves and discard skins.
- Combine stock, parsnips, garlic cloves, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil for 15 minutes, or until parsnips are soft and easily pierced by a fork.
- Remove the pot from the stove and let cool for five minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
- Blend the parsnips with just enough of the cooking liquid (~1-2 c.) to achieve the texture of soft ice cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread into a serving dish and top with a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of chopped fresh herbs. Serve immediately.
*Prior to finishing with oil and herbs, this dish can also be held in a warm oven until ready to serve.