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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

During the holidays, I often hear people say that after the holidays they're going to eat more "sensibly." I totally understand. I'm also guilty of baking those naughty sweet goodies and doing my share of indulging at holiday parties, too.

I discovered long ago that soup can be a great way to satisfy a hearty appetite without contributing too many calories. One key to making a healthy, robust soup is building it with an abundance of starchy vegetables and staying away from fatty ingredients. That way the calories don't get out of hand, yet the soup will still make a filling main dish.

Another plus is to make the soup flavorful so it becomes an enjoyable meal. And even if you do take a second helping, you'll still not be piling on the calories.

So, I've prepared this wholesome soup with a focus on parsnips, a root vegetable that receives rather little attention. Cooked alone, the texture is somewhat potato-like, the flavor delicately sweet. The parsnip is a delicious vegetable that contributes rich flavor to this easy soup and requires no fussy steps or advance preparation. This soup is a delicious, one-pot delight! Happy New Year!

Smoky Parsnip and Carrot Soup


Yield: about 6 servings

    6 cups (1.5 liters) water
    1 pound (453g) parsnips, peeled and sliced
    3/4 pound (340g) carrots, peeled and sliced
    1/2 pound (226g) red or white potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, chopped

    2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon hickory smoke flavoring (liquid smoke)
    Pepper to taste

    1 pound (453g) vegan sausage, broken into chunks or 8 ounces (226g) tempeh bacon, chopped (optional)

    Juice of 1 lemon

  1. In an 8 to 10-quart (8 to 10-liter) stockpot, combine the water, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Use a blender or an immersion blender to blend the soup partially if you like it a little chunky or blend completely for a smooth creamy texture.
  3. Add the nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, smoke flavoring, and pepper. If using, add the vegan sausage and cook about 5 minutes longer to blend the flavors. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and adjust the seasonings if needed.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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