You might remember your grandmother cooking with rutabagas, turnips and parsnips. These vegetables fell out of popularity over the years, but have recently made a comeback. This could be due to their high nutritional value, high fiber, and low calorie count, but more likely due the foodie movement and a return to the notion of eating fresh. However they got back on the food radar, I am glad they did.
The parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot and parsley. Parsnips are starchy, with a sweet, nutty flavor when cooked. They can be eaten raw, but are more often baked, boiled, pureed, roasted, fried or steamed. From soups and stews to purees and chips, the parsnip deserves its place on today's dinner table. Grandmother knows best after-all.
For lunch today I made a tasty thick soup with parsnip, sweet potato, onion and ginger. I seasoned the soup with white pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg for a flavorful punch. Feel free to alter the spices to your own taste.
- For the soup:
- 1 pounds parsnips (about four medium parsnips)
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- For garnish:
- ½ cup candied pecans
- ¼ cup minced chives
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Peel the parsnips and sweet potato and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add the parsnips, sweet potato, onion, and ginger to a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water to keep the parsnips from turning dark. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Drain the vegetables, reserving the liquid. Add half of mixture with 1 cup heavy cream in a food processor. Pulse until smooth then add the remaining vegetables, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pulse again until smooth. To thin the soup, add hot water from the boiling pot. Add a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. You can always add more liquid, but you can't take it out. When the desired consistency is achieved, transfer the soup to a serving bowl. If you need to reheat the soup you can warm it over medium heat. To each serving add a dollop of yogurt, and a sprinkling of candies pecans and chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.