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.


Parsnips, apple, potato, ginger, garlic, white onion, beans, herbs.

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.

Silky and loaded with flavor.
Silky and loaded with flavor.

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


  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a stock pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger, shallots and scallions and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes, parsnips, apple, beans, dill, tarragon, and thyme. Saute for 8 more minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Add coconut milk and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Blend with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Serve warm.




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