parsnips

Parsnip and potato soup with crisp diced bacon This is a recipe modified from Diane Morgan’s Roots, perfect cool-weather comfort food. With or without the bacon, delicious.

  • 3 sprigs of thyme, parsley, sage, whatever you happen to have on hand
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, or 2-3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs parsnips, cut into 1” chunks (peel if you prefer)
  • 1 lb potatoes, cut into 1 “ chunks
  • 1/4 c dry white wine or sherry
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, or whole milk
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 5 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2” pieces

Melt butter in a large stock pot over med-low heat. Add onions, cover, cook, stirring occationally, until the onions are solf, but not browned, about eight minutes. Add parsnips and potatoes and cook, stirring constantly until well coated with butter, about two minutes. Add the sherry, raise the heat to medium-high and saute the vegetables, stirring occationally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the stock and the herbs (you can slip the herbs into a little bit of cheese cloth so they are easy to remove, or you can decide not to fuss with it). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, partially covered until the vegetables are fork soft, soft enough to puree (about 30 minutes). Process the soup either in batches using a blender, or using an immersion blender/boat motor tool (if your herbs are in cheese cloth, remove before blending). Return the pureed soup t o the pot/stove, over low heat, add cream. Don’t boil the soup, just heat it until steaming and serve with crumbly bits of crispy bacon as a garnish.

Parsnip custard (!?) yes, you read this right. Another something amazing from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy – modified a smidge.

  • 1½ lbs parsnips
  • sea salt
  • 1½ cups buttermilk, milk, or half-and-half
  • ½ cup loosely packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 325°F. Peel and chop parsnips and measure 3 cups. Put them in a sauce pan, add water to cover and a few pinches of salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the parsnips are soft enough to mash, 15-20 minutes. Test with paring knife to make sure they are soft. Drain the parsnips and then return them to the pot for a few minutes to dry in the residual heat. Transfer to a blender or food processor add the buttermilk, sugar, whole eggs and egg yolk, ½ teaspoon of the cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon and vanilla extract. Blend or pulse until very smooth. Divide mixture evenly amongst six ½-cup ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and ll the pan half way with near-boiling water. Bake in oven until set and lightly pued, about 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and serve immediately or allow to cool and chill before serving. Whip the heavy cream along with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of cardamom until soft peaks form. Serve each ramekin with a dollop of whipped cream and a pinch of ground cardamom.

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