Monday, February 16, 2009

Parsnip and apple soup

I'm just realizing that I haven't done a soup recipe on this blog yet. Crazy talk! I love soup. Eat the stuff all the time. Some of my best friends are soup.
I don't usually order it in restaurants though, because I feel a bit ripped off when I do -- unless there's the promise of a prize, like a giant seared scallop or a panko-crusted egg swimming around in there.
Back at home, my soups usually amount to rifling through the fridge and seeing what's on the south side of fresh. On a good day this could mean a warming pot of broccoli and cheddar, on a bad day, beet greens and tofu. 
Last week I had a good day with some apples and parsnips, and I have to say, it's a combo I'd never tried before and can't imagine why. It makes for a light pureed soup with a sweetly earthy flavour.
I'm filing this one under "tasty happenstance". (Sorry about the lame pic. Soup is hard to photograph!)
(serves 4)
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 cooking onion, chopped
3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
4 Macintosh apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp maple syrup
splash of white wine or vermouth
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
garnishes (optional): fried (store bought) shallots, chopped parsley, and/or a dollops of yoghurt. 
Heat oil and butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute for several minutes. Add parsnips, carrot and celery and saute for several minutes more. Add apple, nutmeg, cinnamon and syrup and cook together for another minute or so. Add a splash of white wine, stir, add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a half hour, or until veggies and apples are soft. 
Get out an immersion (hand) blender and puree soup in the pot. Or, let soup cool slightly and puree in batches in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, bring back to a simmer in the pot, and serve hot, topped with the aforementioned garnishes of your choosing.  

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