Pear and Parsnip Soup Inspired by Dwell Magazine

This winter I have been on a soup kick,  inspired by anything I find at my local Larchmont Farmers Market. However, this time inspiration came from an article in Dwell magazine (which I get free as a part of my MOCA membership ). The article in dwell featured a renovation of Holyoke Center, originally designed by Josep Lluís Sert, former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, for Clover Food Lab, a vegetarian restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the end of the article there was a recipe for pear and parsnip Soup from Clover Food Lab. I tweaked the original recipe, adding rutabagas and removing the potato as it made it too starchy. Hope it  warms up your winter nights.

This yummy soup has been submitted to the Wellness Weekend event.

Parsnip and Pear Soup

Inspired by Pear and parsnip Soup from Clover Food Lab

1 tsp. canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1.5 pound parsnips, roughly chopped
2 rutabagas, roughly chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 pears, unpeeled, cored, roughly chopped
Salt and honey to taste
Splash of white-wine vinegar

Heat a soup pot on medium-high heat. Add canola oil, garlic, and onion. Sweat for 10 minutes (be sure not to brown the vegetables). Add parsnips, rutabagas, vegetable  stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add pears simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and blend soup (in a food processor or with an imersion blender) until super-smooth. Season to taste with salt, sugar, and vinegar.

Roasted Carrot Garnish 

Carrots with partial tops
Dash of Cinamon
Dash of asian 7 spice mix
olive oil
Salt to tastes

Rub carrots with oil, salt and spices. Place them on a parchment paper on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake on 40o degrees F for 25 minutes.


Raw Mini-Cupcakes

This passover I finally tried out Ani Pho’srecipe for raspberry ganache Fudge Cake from Ani’s Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats. Months ago when I first bought the book, I had bookmarked it with a post-it titled “passover” since the recipe is kosher for passover since it contains no flour or grains. For that particular recipe, Ani called for the cake to be made in two layers in a cake pan, but I decided it would be easier to make it the mini-cupcake pan. The results were great, the mini-cakes turned out super cute, are great for portion control, and can be frozen and defrosted individually for a quick snack or dessert.

I have listed my two mini-cupcake recipes inspired by Ani Pho’s raspberry ganache fudge cake. These are my go-to snack that I store in the freezer at work and at home. They are great for a pre or post workout and great when you need something sweet.

However, the basic principle for making these raw mini-cupcakes is a simple 1:1 ratio of nuts/seeds/dry ingredients to sweet dried fruit. I always use some dates in each recipe as they are the best at sweetening and binding. If you are feeling adventurous try making your own recipe based on the 1:1 ratio. For example :1 cup dates + 1 cup sunflower seeds + stevia OR 1/2 cup dates + 1/4 cup dried figs + 1/4 cup dried apple rings + 1 cup walnuts + 1 tbs grated ginger + stevia  OR 1/2 cup dates + 1/2 dried apricots + 2 tbs coco powder + 1 cup pistachios + stevia.

Raw Chocolate Mini-Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups roasted sunflower seeds (or any other nut or seed – pistachios, walnuts, brazil or pecans would work well)
1/3 cup carob powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cup pitted dates (OR 1 cup dried figs + 1 cup dates)
Stevia to sweeten (optional)

Process the sunflower seeds in a food processor on the pulse mode. Once the nuts are chopped add all the remaining ingredients and process until mixture starts to ball (come together) in the machine. Line a mini-cupcake pan with papers. Scoop the mixture into the mini- cupcake pan compacting the mixture with your finger so that they hold together. Freeze until firm and keep in the freezer until they are ready to serve.

Raw Mango Ginger Mini-Cupcakes
For my running buddy (who is allergic to chocolate in addition to gluten).

1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dates
2/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup fresh mango (about 1 small mango)
Stevia to sweeten (optional)

Process the sunflower seeds in a food processor on the pulse mode. Once the nuts are chopped add all the remaining ingredients and process until mixture starts to ball (come together) in the machine. Line a mini-cupcake pan with papers. Scoop the mixture into the mini- cupcake pan compacting the mixture with your finger so that they hold together. Freeze until firm and keep in the freezer until they are ready to serve.

*If you don’t have cupcakes papers use squares of parchment paper or plastic wrap as shown below. If you don’t have a pan or papers you can roll them into balls. I buy my papers online or at Bed Bath & Beyond.