Yield: serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ½ cups sliced leeks
- 3 cups parsnips, peeled and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces (~1 pound)
- 2 cups granny smith apple, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (~2 large)
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (~1 large)
- ½ cup raw cashews (unsalted and not roasted)
- 14.5 oz low sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups of water
- Place cashes in a bowl, cover with ½ cup cold water and seal with plastic wrap. Soak at room temperature for at least 4 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. If you’re in a pinch, soak cashews ½ cup very hot (not boiling) water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a food processor, blend cashews and ¼ cup of the soaking water to create a cashew cream. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for five minutes, stirring periodically.
- Add the apples, parsnips, potatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes (or until the veggies are tender).
- In batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return puree to the large pot and stir in the cashew cream.
- Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- We recommend using a food processor when blending both the cashews and the soup. It will take less time to reach a smooth consistency. A blender will work as well, but it will take more time and patience.
- Parsnips are a root vegetable closely related to carrots and parsley root. Parsnips are harder than carrots though, and tend to have a deeper, warm flavor with a hint of cinnamon.
- Vitamin K is abundant in parsnips in the form of phylloquinone (vitamin K1). Vitamin K supports proper blood clotting, and works with calcium and vitamin D to promote strong bones. It’s also plentiful in cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts (do you see the green leafy trend here?)
- Parsnips are also rich in Vitamin C, a strong antioxidant that boosts immunity, folate which supports cell and tissue development, as well as bone supporting manganese, and electrolyte balancing potassium.
- Apples, potatoes and parsnips are all wonderful sources of prebiotic fiber, which is important to eat every day. Prebiotic fiber supports our gut microbiome, keeps our digestive system moving and regular, aids in blood sugar balance, and keeps us feeling fuller for longer after meals.
- Cashews offer healthy fat, including both mono and polyunsaturated, both of which have been shown to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Recipe created by Alexandra Regalado, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist with El Camino Health's Lifestyle Medicine Program. Click here for more information on Lifestyle Medicine, including available classes, locations and program tracks.