Apples and Parsnips

I’m working on a new blog, but it’s having to take a back seat to grading and working on another writing project. In the meantime, however, I am back to cooking after making it through last week’s valley of the shadow of influenza. Yesterday I made apple and parsnip soup, inspired by the delicious soup on the menu at Payne’s, and wanted to share. The recipe comes from EatingWell.com and the link is http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/curried_parsnip_apple_soup.html.

I doubled the recipe, because if I’m going to cook, I want to get a few meals out of the food, but for here, I left the measurements the same. The recipe calls for chicken broth, but I used vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is my favorite). This recipe is great for February, because it’s hearty and earthy, but also a fairly light soup (there’s no cream in it, just a yogurt garnish) and makes good use of the end of fall/winter vegetables and fruits. I’m all about seasonal eating these days, as it kind of makes sense that the foods the earth gives you at certain times of year are what your body needs right then. It also seems to be working–flu aside, my trousers and I are getting along better than we were before Christmas.

Curried Parsnip & Apple Soup

Makes: 4 servings, 2 cups each

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds parsnips (about 5 medium), peeled, cored and chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 cups  vegetable stock (you can use chicken broth if you’re a happy carnivore)

1 medium russet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and chopped

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped (I used Jonagold)

1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

4 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt

PREPARATION

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add parsnips and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add broth, water, potato, apple, curry powder, coriander, cumin and ginger; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender when mashed against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes. *Note: I threw the vegetables in with wanton abandon as my faithful chopper got it chopped. But I give you the actual order, and encourage you to be as orderly as you see fit.

*Also, because life, my vegetables simmered for several hours before I got around to blending them. My philosophy with soup is that longer is just fine as long as you don’t burn it.

Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, blend the soup in batches in a blender with the lid slightly ajar. Use caution when blending hot liquids. Return the soup to the pot.) Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve with dollops of yogurt swirled on top, garnished with pinches of coriander.

* * *

Also because life, and because I like to do yoga before I eat a meal, I didn’t get around to eating it until 10:30 at night. It was pretty great. Today I’m having it for lunch and it’s now moved into the amazing category.

Hope it works for you if you choose to try it!

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