Before the St. Valentines Day, leaving gym after a workout, I saw a Valentine’s Day menu from the hotel’s restaurant, next door to my gym. Tired and hungry, I read it through and noted that they had some interesting vegetarian specials for the day, including this soup and wild mushroom and asparagus risotto. Walking past the restaurant on my way home, I could almost picture a beautiful romantic dinner with my husband there. I wanted to go there straight away. Since it was a few weeks before the Valentine’s Day, we thought there was no rush to book the table right then. Little did we know about how popular that restaurant was for holidays like that. To weeks in advance, I decided it was time, and stopped by on my way from the gym. The receptionist could only splash her hands – all the tables were booked, not a single space available. I was disappointed and spent days looking for another restaurant in town, until we decided to try the Radisson Blu. We supposed it would be all booked as well, but it turned out to be available. Happiness and relief took over, but I quickly realized that due to my allergies and pickiness I will have no choice but order… FISH!
Well, fish is a much better option than meat… I used to enjoy fish a lot. But the mushroom and asparagus risotto and white chocolate and coconut cheesecake didn’t leave me in peace. I craved them every single day. When I went to gym, I thought about risotto and cheesecake, on the way back I thought about them too. Coming back home I looked out the window, saw the restaurant (which is perfectly seen from most of our windows!) and I still thought about them. This kind of obsession, clearly unhealthy, made me feel crazy. It happens to me sometimes, because I tend to get obsessive with some things, especially food. If I decided it was time for me to have a little treat, no one can stop me from what I have in mind, and if they do stop me… Well, my mood is down, my day is completely ruined and nothing can bring it back.
So one evening my husband returned from the gym with a paper in his hands. “You love me!” he said and showed it to me. It was a menu from that restaurant I dreamed about with a time of booking written on it. They just had a cancellation, and my dear hubby was right in time to get that table. So I was happy, he was happy that I was happy, and I counted the days until the day.
Needless to say, the dinner was ah-mazing. It was a 5-course, all are so wonderful and delicious. One of the soups they had on the menu was the Honey Roasted Parsnip and Apple Soup. The other was French Onion Soup. My hubby has already tried Onion Soup once. He always finishes his dinner first and can steal some of mine if I can’t finish it, but that one time he couldn’t even force himself to finish the onion soup. He doesn’t like to recall that soup at all, so getting one this time was out of question. Since he was opting for parsnip and apple soup, and it sounded delicious, I decided to give it a try to.
The bowl of soup was too small! It lasted no more than two minutes and then it was gone, and the rest of the night I couldn’t quite forget the taste. Next morning I decided to make my own. I looked up many parsnip and apple recipes online, but couldn’t find the honey roasted one and decided to improvise. Here’s what I got.
Honey Roasted Parsnip and Apple Soup
- 500 g Parsnips
- 3 Apples (I used Braeburn)
- 1 Onion
- 4 cups Vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp Honey (or less, according to your taste)
- Milk (I used coconut)
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 to 3/4 Tsp ground Coriander
- 1/3 to 1/2 Tsp ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 Tsp ground Cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 200 C. Prep your ingredients, starting with a good wash. Dice or slice the onion, shape and size doesn’t really matter. Peel and cut parsnips into 1-cm-thick rounds; peel apples, core and slice.
- In a large bowl, coat parsnip slices with honey and roast them until slightly brown/caramelized and aromatic, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a little.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot, then add onions; sauté about 2-3 minutes. Add parsnips and sauté for further 3 minutes. Add apples and spices, cook stirring for a minute or two.
- Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about 25 minutes, until pieces are very tender. Let cool down a bit.
- Purée soup in batches, until smooth. Add milk to achieve a desired consistency.
- Return to a pot and season with salt and pepper if you wish (I skipped this).
The soup is quite sweet, but it’s a matter of the amount of honey and the sort of apples. It makes a tasty starter or a small light meal. Toddler and husband-approved 🙂 The little one literally lived on this soup for the entire day 🙂