The lovely vanilla scent of this soup gives an added boost to this lovely and elegant concoction though the olfactory experience alone. It is not necessary to strain the soup but this step gives it an added level of sophistication. A perfect soup , whether hot or cold, to impress friends with your culinary capability and to serve as a starter for a fancier meal. There’s just a little more time for seasonal parsnips so get it while the getting is good!
1 cup mushrooms
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-5 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tart apples (Granny Smith) cored, seeded and chopped
2 cups almond milk
½ teaspoon whole cloves
1 whole star anise
½ teaspoon peppercorns
Seeds from one vanilla bean
Granny Smith apple, diced
Flat leaf parsley
Toss mushrooms with olive oil and a dash of sea salt. Set aside to marinate.
Put the parsnip , apples, almond milk, cloves, star anise, peppercorns and vanilla in a Vita-Mix. Blend for five 1 minute intervals until the mixture is pureed. Use spatula to keep soup in constant motion.
Pour soup through fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide into warm bowls and garnish with marinated mushrooms, diced apple, parsley and olive oil. Can also be served warm. Just heat lightly till lightly heated. You should be able to put a finger in the soup without feeling burned. This will give you a nice warming concoction for these frigid winter months. Makes 8 cups.