Parsnip and White Bean Soup with Mustard Green Pesto
When winter gives you loads of parsnips, 4 giant bunches of mustard greens, green onions, and garlic....you get creative. Eating with the seasons is a challenge, but it's one that I've grown to love. Not only is it more affordable (seasonal food grown locally often costs less than out-of-season tomatoes and produce grown in Mexico our South America and shipped in from thousands of miles away!), but it's also fresh and full of flavor. Did you know parsnips actually get sweeter when the temperature drops? The cool weather causes the sugars to concentrate. And hearty mustard greens pack a flavor punch in the cold winter months-- they are peppery and bitter and delicious, with just a hint of mustardy flavor, which makes them perfect for blending in salads or topping sandwhiches.
My favorite thing to do when I've got an abundance of root vegetables is to make a dreamy, creamy soup which I can pack for lunch or freeze for a later day. And when I've got too many greens or herbs that I don't want to go bad-- I turn them into pesto. Lucky for me, the combination of sweet parsnips and peppery pesto made a perfect pair.
Parsnip and White Bean Soup
Adapted from Oh My Veggies 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 small white onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced ¼ tsp each salt and pepper 2-4 large parsnips, peeled and chopped 1 cup milk (can sub non-dairy alternative) 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock 1 cup white beans (This could be omitted and replaced with more parsnips, but I love adding beans to my vegetable for a little extra filling protein.) ¼ of a lemon, juiced
Mustard Green Pesto
2 cups mustard greens
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 garlic clove, smashed
¼ cup roasted almonds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (additional as needed)
1 handful of Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Mustard Green Pesto is also delicious served with steak or pork and makes a lovely condiment in place of actual mustard on a sandwich. It might be just a little too "mustardy" to use as a pasta sauce, but it would be a great on potatoes for a roasted potato salad. Or try it on your next cubano or burger for an extra special treat! Check out a couple other mustard green pesto uses below.