Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Polenta Croutons

I decided to buck the holiday cookie trend and give you this easy, luscious, roasted vegetable soup recipe.  This is elegant in its simplicity and would be a lovely addition to a holiday meal–or it might be a great way to detox after a weekend of holiday splurging.  Your call.

I was recently contacted by Grimmway Farms about doing a blog post about their organic produce.  While you might not know the name of the California farm, chances are good you have purchased their organic Bunny-Luv carrots in your local grocery store, as well as a wide variety of other organic produce marketed as Cal-Organics.  Now my regular readers know that I am an advocate of local produce, but in the winter months we are regular consumers of Bunny-Luv products and always have a bag in the crisper drawer.

For this recipe I used a pound of Bunny-Luv carrots as well as a large parsnip and onion, and I roasted the vegetables to develop the flavors.  The roasting process concentrates the sugars and adds a deep flavor to the finished soup.  To do this I just scrubbed and chopped the vegetables, tossed with olive oil and some spices, and roasted until tender and browned.

This looked and smelled so good coming out of the oven that we almost skipped the soup process and ate them directly from the pan–really, you cannot beat roasted vegetables!  You might be tempted to add water while these are roasting, but trust that it isn’t needed and you want the depth of flavor you will get from dry roasting with just some olive oil.  I added the polenta “croutons” to the oven for the last 25 minutes of roasting time, and they make a crispy-creamy-salty addition to this beautiful soup.

Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Polenta Croutons
1 pound organic carrots
1 large parsnip (or two medium)
1 large white onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons rosemary blades
juice of one navel orange
8 cups hot water or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter (optional, and/or use Earth Balance to keep this vegan)
18 once tube of prepared polenta (or cook your own and chill in a pan overnight)
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Trim and scrub the carrots.  Cut into pieces and place in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.  Peel the parsnip and cut into chunks of similar sizes and add to the baking pan.  Peel the onion and cut into large wedges, and add to the other vegetables.  Drizzle the vegetables with two tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with the salt, white pepper, and rosemary.  Roast for 35-45 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the vegetables begin to brown and are tender when pierced with a knife.

Working in batches, puree the cooked vegetables with the juice of the orange and the water (in a regular blender, this will take 3-4 batches of vegetables pureed with about two cups of water per batch).  Add each pureed batch to a tureen or soup pot.  Be sure to include any pan roasting juices!  When all of the roasted vegetables have been pureed, stir in the butter until melted, and taste and adjust the salt and pepper.  If the soup is too thick, add in another cup or two of hot water or stock.  Serve with the polenta croutons garnishing each bowl.

For the croutons: Remove the wrapper from the prepared polenta and slice it into cubes of desired size.  Gently toss the cubes with olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt, and roast at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and lightly golden brown on the edges. Drain on paper toweling and serve hot with the soup.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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21 Responses to Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Polenta Croutons

  1. Robin @ Yankee Kitchen December 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    I prefer organics when possible to keep down the chemical load on our bodies.

    jehaine at yahoo dot com

  2. Domestic Diva December 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    I like organics because they're free of chemical nasties.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. Sonali- The Foodie Physician December 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Yum, I love parsnips! A simple and delicious recipe!

  4. Curt December 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    What a delicious looking soup. Myself, I went with the traditional holiday treat trend. I'm so weak! :)

  5. marla December 24, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Such a great recipe & giveaway! I use organics because I don't want any chemicals & hormones in our food.

  6. Dough Maven December 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    I prefer organics for my children as we try to avoid as many chemicals in our life as possible.

  7. shopannies December 26, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    oh sounds so delicious love it when the cashier ask if those are white carrots

  8. Molly December 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    the color alone is reason enough to choose organic! I'm looking forward to making this soup for my family.

  9. Deb Harris December 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I prefer organics because I think they're healthier. I have lupus & fibromyalgia, my immune system is already messed up I figure the less chemicals I ingest the better, but I also think they're healthier for the whole family. I'm glad my daughter is trying to start her young kids with as much organic as possible.

  10. Deb Harris December 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I liked you on FB

  11. Valerie December 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    Organic is a much healthier way to live. Cotton seed oil is a big no no!

  12. Brittany December 27, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    I prefer organic because the thought of pesticides all over my food grosses me out. ha

    threeyearsdown [at] gmail [dot] com

  13. Jenetta December 27, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    This soup looks so yummy! I'm so going to try this sometime soon! I definitely prefer organics because of the lack of pesticides and other chemicals. I feel so much better feeding my little girl all natural stuff.

  14. PurpleLarkspur December 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    I prefer to eat organic for a number of reasons. The biggest is that I don't want to expose myself, my family and all those that work in agriculture to nasty pesticides that have a detrmimental effect on our bodies and the environment.

    BTW- I am a huge fan of roasting veggies! I would love to take a look at this book.

    larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

  15. Janine December 28, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    This soup looks phenomenal!

  16. Janine December 28, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    I liked you on FB a while ago.

  17. Karen (Back Road Journal) December 28, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    This sounds like an absolutely delicious soup. With the croutons you took the recipe over the top. I'm so happy that I discovered your blog.

  18. Angela December 30, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    I like organics because I feel better about giving them to my children.

  19. Angela December 30, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    I like organics because I feel better about giving them to my children.

  20. LanieSmith.com January 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi Angela!!!! I love organics because I know who ever grew them added a little more love and patience, not to mention showed honor to the earth. I have my site back up, it's still at thevintagecook.com or can also be found at laniesmith.com now. Have a happy new year, your soup looks so warm and comforting.

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