Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Spicy Parsnip Soup

Inspired by thekitchn's soup week last week and looking to do something different with my winter vegetables aside from my usual roasting technique, I made spicy parsnip soup last night, largely based on this Jane Spice recipe, with some modifications.  I thought it was pretty good, although not my favorite soup in the world.  I think part of the problem is that I am a little tired of parsnips; we've had it a lot this winter. I would make it again, with some modifications.  I think it could use some heavy cream; there's no substitution for the smooth richness that cream adds to soup, otherwise it's just pureed vegetables, a little too boring and baby food-ish.  Also, I forgot to salt and pepper the vegetables while sauteing them before adding the broth.  I feel like you always have to add so much more salt and pepper at the end if you don't season the vegetables first, and it makes the soup taste more one dimensional. 

Spicy Parsnip Soup Recipe:
  • Dice 1 medium onion and 2 stalks of celery
  • Heat up 1 TB of grapeseed oil in a 3 1/2 quart le creuset round french oven over medium heat
  • Saute the onion and celery for 5 minutes until softened, season with salt and pepper
  • Meanwhile, peel and dice 3 large parsnips (about 1.25 lb), mince 3 cloves of garlic, and peel and dice 1-2 carrots
  • Add the spices: heaping 1/2 tsp of cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, chili powder and garlic, turn up the heat and toast the spices for a few seconds
  • Turn the heat back to medium and add the carrots and parnips and saute for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper.  Add 1 quart of chicken stock
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for ~10 minutes until all the vegetables are soft
  • Puree with the cuisinart smart stick blender. I added a splash of half and half which I had leftover in my fridge, but in the future I would use heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper.  Be careful, as the soup will bubble and spit a bit since it's so thick.
  • Serve and garnish with chopped scallions, chives or parsley

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