As you probably know, Mother Nature had a giant snow-tantrum recently that resulted in some class cancellations (WOO!). Consequently, I had a little staycation at my apartment. I got some reading done, cleaned, de-cluttered, and worked out. But, of course, it wasn’t all business. I also figured out how to make a stylish toga out of a twin bed sheet (for an upcoming social event) and made a mess in my kitchen!
Snow events call for soup, obviously. I have a newfound love for parsnips, and a friend of mine recently shared a recipe for parsnip soup on my facebook wall. I don’t have internet access at home, so I couldn’t check the exact ingredients and measurements, but I did have a bag of the aforementioned root vegetables, a Dutch oven, and my lively imagination.
Chopping first: I diced half an onion, minced some garlic, peeled and diced the parsnips, and diced some carrots. It’s good to get all the ingredients ready to party before you turn on the heat.
I sautéed the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until softened and almost translucent, and then added curry powder, pepper, and a little salt. (Careful with the salt when you’re going to be using boxed stock/broth—they can be salty, so go easy to start and taste as you go.) Then I added vegetable stock, brought it to a boil, and dropped in the parsnips and carrots.
Reduce the heat as needed so the veggies are simmering, not boiling like crazy, and stir occasionally until they’re tender. Mine took 8-10 minutes, but it’ll just depend on how large or small your pieces are. Next up: puree-ing. (Is that a verb? I just made it one.) I had never pureed a soup before, so I consulted the almighty Bittman Bible of Vegetarianism:
This is a wonderful book that I got as a gift from a wonderful friend, and I look stuff up in it all the time. I don’t use it for the recipes so much as for the charts, ideas, and exhaustive explanations of everything you need to know about cooking veggie-ful feasts. The tofu tutorial is a tour de force, let me tell you. Anyway, Mr. Bittman had some words about pureed veggie soups…
I took his warning to heart and let the soup cool down a bit. In the meantime, I went outside to attempt to remove my car from its snowy parking lot prison. Never one for winter-weather preparedness, I don’t actually own a shovel. Luckily, a nice fellow saw me trying to move a knee-high pile of snow with a cookie sheet and let me borrow his. After some serious shoveling, I come back inside and put a few ladles of soup into my retro-fab blender.
I think the towel on top is a good idea. I pureed the soup in 3 batches—here’s what it looked like:
Rave, rave, rave reviews on this stuff! I loved it. It looks kind of like baby food, which I suppose might turn some people off, but it tastes like a big potholder hug in a bowl and it’s super-duper nutritious to boot. I had a bowl (with some chickpeas and scallions on top) while watching Singin’ in the Rain and basking in my spontaneous day of vacation, and it was just the best. Picture and recipe below…farewell for now and happy shoveling!
Curried Parsnip and Carrot Soup
- ½ large onion, diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- About 5 medium to large parsnips, peeled and diced
- About 2 cups baby carrots, diced the same size as the parsnips
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 4 cups vegetable stock
Sautee the onion and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven in about 1 tbsp of your preferred oil. Cook until softened and nearly translucent. Add 1 tablespoon of curry powder, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir into the onions and garlic, and then add the vegetable stock. Bring the stock to a boil, add the carrots and parsnips, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender (test them with a fork or taste one). Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool a bit. Puree the soup in several batches in a blender* and then return it to the pot to heat it through again if you’re going to serve it right away. If needed, add a bit more stock to thin it out. Taste and add more seasoning if you wish.
*If you have a fancy-schmancy immersion blender, you can certainly use that and puree the soup right in the pot you cooked it in.
P.S. Here’s the link to the recipe that inspired my little soup project.