Friday, May 6, 2011

Cream of Parsnip Soup

I think that I made up this recipe some time ago. Apologies if I have taken this from someone without credit. (It is very tasty.)

This week we found that we had collected a reasonable supply of parsnip from Taproot. Sensing an opportunity, I got to chopping.

What you need:
1 onion, chopped
2 or 3 slices pancetta, or similar meat (this is optional, and today I used some genoan salami in place of the pancetta)
a clove or two of garlic (optional)
2 cups chopped parsnips
1 cup chopped potato
1 tsp salt
250 mL cream
2 or 3 tablespoons snipped chives
4 or 5 twigs german thyme
1 pinch ground mace
a small bunch of tatsoi, or similar "heavy" greens (optional)

In the bottom of a soup pot, fry the onion with the pancetta and garlic, until the onion is just transparent.

To the onions, add the potatoes, parsnips, and salt. Just cover this mixture with water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes. Set this aside to cool.

When it has cooled, purée the mixture in batches. I use a blender to do this.

Stir the purée in the soup pot with the chives, mace, thyme, and cream. If you are using them, add the greens. Let the simmer on the very lowest heat for as long as you can – about an hour or more – to allow the flavours to infuse.


As an alternative, you can turn this into a seafood dish. While your veggies are simmering, you can steam 9 or 10 mussels in 3/4" of liquid which is one part water and one part white wine. When you purée the veggies, add this liquid to the purée. Don't purée the mussels themselves, but instead add them along with the herbs and greens.

Local notes:
This soup benefits greatly from the quality of Taproot's veggies, and the herbs that we harvest from our herb garden (though my nutmeg tree doesn't always fare well in the Canadian Winters). I also recommend Scotsburn Dairies for any cream product. I believe that they have more Jersey cattle in their producers' herds, resulting in richer cream. (I use Farmer's milk for all else!)

Today we had this soup with a salad that Kathy concocted from Taproot's recent delivery of spinach, arugula, carrot, and radish. It was quite a gourmet experience.

Ria has her own gourmet tastes and has been eating Taproot's radishes whole, like apples. Weird kid.

Anyway. Bon appetit.
Happy eating until next time.


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