White Winter Soup
Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Registered Dietitian & Cooking Instructor at Nourish Northwest
When people tell me they “don’t eat anything white,” I usually resist the urge to get technical. Sometimes, I can’t help but challenge. No cauliflower, onions, garlic, parsnips, apples, jicama, turnips, coconut, or white beans? Many people want a concrete food rule to follow in order to achieve better health or weight loss. The problem is, food and diet are much more nuanced and complicated. I know the purpose of that statement is to reduce or eliminate the intake of refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, and other sweet confections. While such a rule has noble intentions, adhering to it without exception leaves out a world of pale food that is both healthful and delicious.
Food color is associated with particular antioxidants that confer specific health benefits. The most well-known example is the orange color (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, etc) and beta-carotene with vision, immunity and wound healing. White foods have many types of antioxidants. Parsnips have falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol, and methyl-falcarindiol. These are anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antibacterial and anti-fungal.
This white soup is especially good in the winter, when roots and tubers are plentiful and in season. I like to peel one third to one half of the skins on the vegetables. This imparts the right amount of earthiness and fiber while also yielding a silky texture. (Peel all of the parsnips since the skin is bitter and woody.)
White Winter Soup
(Adapted from Color Me Vegan by Coleen Patrick-Goudreau)
1 Tbs oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
3 whole green onions, choppped
1 inch piece ginger, grated or finely chopped
3 Yukon gold potatoes, half peeled and chopped
2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 Golden delicious or Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 can white beans, drained
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh tarragon
4 whole sprigs fresh thyme
6 oz dry white wine
3-4 cups vegetable to chicken stock
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil over medium heat in a stock pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger, shallots and scallions and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes, parsnips, apple, beans, dill, tarragon, and thyme. Saute for 8 more minutes.
- Add wine and bring to boil for about 5 minutes. Pour in stock and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.
- Add coconut milk and season with salt and pepper.
- Blend with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Serve warm.