Parsnips are hardy winter roots whose mild flavor is perfect for this soothing cool-weather soup. This vegan chowder is brimming with mild seasonal vegetables. Though it’s homey and hearty, perfect for any cold-weather meal, it’s surprisingly elegant choice with which to start a holiday meal like Christmas dinner, served in moderate portions. Photos by Evan Atlas.
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 medium or 6 smallish potatoes (any variety; red-skinned are good), scrubbed and diced
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 32-ounce carton vegetable stock, or 4 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
- 2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, or more, to taste
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, or more, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.
- Add the potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celery, broth, and seasoning blend. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer two cups full of the vegetables (mainly the potatoes and parsnips, if you can) to a shallow bowl. Mash well and stir them back into the soup.
- Add the nondairy milk, parsley, and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer over very low heat for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or just until thoroughly heated through. Serve at once, or let the soup stand for an hour or so off the heat, then heat through before serving.
Note: This soup thickens considerably as it stands. Add nondairy milk to thin as needed (though let it stay nice and thick), then adjust seasonings.