, Side Dishes
11 5th, 2008 |
I love, love, love soups. And they are a great way to experiment with ingredients, which is exactly what I did the other day.
I’ve never cooked with parsnips; honestly, I don’t think I’d ever even eaten parsnips before Monday. And I have eaten and cooked my fair share of vegetables, but this less than appealing, or should I say bland looking, root veggie never made the cut.
When I spotted some parsnips in our local fruit/vegetable market late last week, I decided it was time to take the plunge. So I bought quite a few not really knowing what I would do with them. Simply roast them with fresh herbs? Mash them into a silky puree? Then I saw some neglected bacon in the freezer that needed to be used up ASAP (Bacon? Neglected? I know it’s weird, but you’ve got to think healthy sometimes.). So I started to imagine a hearty soup, a chowder of sorts. Bacon, parsnips, leeks, onions, a little flour, some stock, some herbs and a touch of cream to round it all out.
The result, as you’ll see below, was more than satisfying. And parsnips will definitely make an appearance on our table more often.
Creamy Parsnip and Bacon Soup
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
Thyme from 5 or 6 sprigs
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup half & half
Heat a large pot and render the bacon. Add the onion, leeks and parsnips and cook a few minutes until the onions are quite tender. Season the vegetables with some salt and stir in the thyme and bay leaves. Add the flour and stir for a minute or two. Add the broth and water, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the parsnips are fork tender. Stir in the half & half, bring back to a boil and simmer for a couple minutes more.
Season with additional salt and pepper and serve.
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