Two years ago, I took a vacation to India and spent two weeks at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala. As someone who habitually reads cookbooks as bedtime stories, I was pleased to purchase “The Yoga Cookbook” in the ashram gift shop, and read through the (sattvic, i.e. very healthy) recipes between our evening meditation sessions and 10 p.m. lights-out curfew.
I pulled the book back off the shelf the other day to finally try making the infamous “Sivananda Cookies” they often sell at the yoga center. In turn, I ended up flipping through the recipes again, and found an interesting one: Nutty Parsnip Soup, which calls for 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter as its “nutty” element.
This got me thinking. What about tahini? Could it be any good in a white-vegetable winter soup? I do, of course, having a thing for celeriac. And I love the woodsy, surprising flavor of parsnips.
So here, I give you, a warming winter soup rounded out with tahini. Happy Sunday.
Nutty Winter White Soup
thick pat of unsalted butter (about 8 grams)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 parsnips, peeled, roughly chopped
750 grams (1.6 lbs) celeriac, skin removed, cut into cubes
6 cups hot water OR homemade stock
1.5 bouillon cubes (chicken or vegetable) – omit if using stock
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
3 Tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
black pepper (optional, for garnish)
1/3 cup chopped cashews or peanuts (optional, for garnish)
Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, 4-6 minutes. Add the parsnips and celeriac and let them heat up a bit in the pot, stirring, 2 minutes.
Pour hot water or stock over vegetables, add bouillon if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
Once vegetables are fully cooked, take the pot off the heat and mix the soup with an immersion blender. Stir in the tahini, and serve topped with salt and pepper, and chopped cashews or peanuts.