Parsnip, Pear & Ginger Soup

Parsnip Soup

The inspiration for this soup was my wedding. John and I were married a few years ago and there was never any doubt about the location. I’m in love with autumn, so we exchanged our vows outdoors (in spite of the drizzling rain), on a sugarbush farm, under a canopy of epic multi-coloured maple trees (my favourite tree), surrounded by a quaint number of intimate friends and loved ones in what I would call a rustic, but elegant setting.

I worked with my caterer to create a beautiful autumn menu. Heading it all was the most spell binding parsnip and pear soup. This was very different for my Italian guests, but they are still talking about it.

This soup is adapted from a Curried Parsnip Soup recipe from the Food and Drink magazine.

I absolutely love everything about this soup. It’s going to sound oxymoronic, but it’s both simple and intricate. The bright yellow, accentuated by the turmeric, is both inviting and intriguing. The first spoonful tastes sweet, a melodic teeter between the parsnips and pears. The soup is of the finest velvet, the perfect consistency, not too watery and not too thick. Then the heat from the ginger kicks in, followed by that refreshing splash of fresh coriander.

If you close your eyes, you can ride the roller coaster, otherwise, appreciate the simplicity of the harmony of flavours.

This is one of the quickest soups I prepare, making it an easy weeknight meal. By the looks and taste, you’d never guess.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Butter 2 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Leek, chopped 1
Garlic, cloves, minced 3
Ginger, minced 3/4-1 tbsp (depending on your preference)
Cumin 1 tsp
Coriander 1 tsp
Cardamom 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
 Wine, white 1/3 cup
 Broth, vegetable 5 cups
 Parsnips, chopped 1 lb
 Salt 3/4 tsp
 Black pepper 1/2 tsp
 Pears, chopped 2
 Cream, light 1/2 cup
 Cilantro, fresh, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, heat butter and olive oil.
  2. Add leek and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add spices, turmeric, and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add white wine and deglaze the pot, allowing the wine to reduce for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add parsnips, broth, salt, and black pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add pears and simmer for a few more minutes until pears soften.
  8. Remove pot from the burner and using a hand blender, puree soup until smooth and velvety.
  9. Return pot to burner and add cream and heat through. Do not bring to a boil.
  10. Remove from heat and add cilantro.

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