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Parsnip: The Overlooked Winter Delight

Posted Feb 04 2010 10:36am

(I apologize for the poor photo quality…the camera batteries died so I had to use my phone. *sigh* )

Ever picked up a parsnip at the grocery store and thought to yourself that it looked just like a carrotexcept it was much paler and less attractive looking? If you had judged parsnip by its unflattering appearance in the past — just like me — then you probably would have thought of it as being anything but tasty. Ooooh boyyou’ve missed out!

I see parsnips all the time at my local grocery storebut I never felt compelled to try itespecially since I had not found any parsnip recipes that seemed intriguing enough. Thenfinally one day I discovered Jamie Oliver’s recipe for a Spicy Parsnip Soup. Considering that you can never go wrong with Jamie’s recipeI decided it is finally time for me to try parsnips!

And I am so glad I tried it. The soup turned out absolutely delicious. The simplicity of the recipe truly allowed the parsnips’ flavour to shine. The natural sweetness of the parsnips was perfectly complemented by the spiciness of the curry powdercreating a truly sensational combination.

From now onI see parsnips through different eyes!

Spicy Parsnip Soup

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Spicy Parsnip Soup

What you’ll need

  • 1/2 small onionfinely chopped
  • A small knob of gingerfinely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlicfinely chopped
  • 1/3 teaspoon of curry powder (I did not have garam masala so I substituted in curry powder)
  • 2 small parsnips (about 1/2lb)chopped into medium-sized chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1% milkJamie suggests coconut milk in place of regular milk for a twist in flavour)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer to keep this a vegetarian option)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and pepperto taste
  • Splash of lemon juiceoptional
  • Heavy creamoptional

What you’ll do

  • Heat olive oil in pan. Sauté onion and ginger on medium heat until onion is soft and golden brownabout 5 minutes. Sprinkle in curry powder and add in garlicheat until fragrantstirring occasionally.
  • Stir in parsnip chunksgive a few good stirs to make sure the parsnip gets coated with oil.
  • Pour in milk and stockuntil liquid just barely covers the parsnip chunks. Bring to a boilthen reduce heat and simmer with lid on until parsnip becomes tenderabout 20 – 30 minutes (depending on how big the chunks are).
  • When parsnip chunks are tender enoughpour contents into a blender and blend until it reaches a silkysmooth consistency.
  • You can serve immediately or pour into a containerlet it cool and store in refrigerator.
  • Add in lemon juicesalt and pepper to taste. Add in a splash of heavy cream if desired. Makes 2 servings.


Do you have a favourite parsnip recipe? Share it here!

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