Parsnip soup with parsley cream and croutons
Remember when we went to the Lindenhoff last week? Besides the beautiful beef we also brought back parsnips and chestnuts. I am still undecided on the chestnuts although I might be making something with those tomorrow. The parsnips however seemed to be perfect for a warming soup. The weather here has really been terrible the last couple of days and I always feel that it takes a while for autumn to set in, but when it does; it hits in full force! Tom is not home tonight; having a night out with the boys, so I got to make something that I just know he wouldn’t like so much. Parsnip has a slightly sweet taste, as does pumpkin and he doesn’t like either of those in soup.
If I hadn’t been trying to lose weight, I would have opted for something with loads of french beautiful cheese, but *deep sigh* that will have to wait a while. In fact; Tom has promised me that he would personally make a cheese plateau for me accompanied by a beautiful port wine when I have lost 10 kilo! For someone who hates cheese that is special, although maybe not the best thing to eat unless you want those ten kilo’s to be back as soon as possible… I’m not there yet, but going strong nonetheless, so the magic number 10 is not that far away anymore… It makes me want to get there even faster, as I cannot wait to see what he comes up with! (Going into a cheese shop alone would be a real challenge for him. He just cannot stand the smell!)
But ok no cheese for me tonight, but instead this gorgeous parsnip soup with a cream of parsley and some homemade croutons. The original recipe was featured in the Good Food of this month. The soup was wonderful; lovely creamy in texture and the parsley gave it just that bit extra. Now this is obviously a vegetarian dish as it is right now, but I would love love love some crunchy bacon in this for next time or mmm, little bit of feta cheese crumbled in would give it just a little bit extra, but as it is; it was close to perfection!
Parsnip soup with parsley cream
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
250 gr of parsnip, cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
150 ml of milk
250 ml of vegetable stock
some double cream (I think I used about 50 to 75 ml)
For the parsley cream:
50 gr curly parsley
80 ml of double cream
80 ml of whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
Cubes of old bread
1 tbsp of olive oil
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until soft but not coloured. Add the parsnips, bay leaves, milk and stock and bring to the boil and summer gently until the parsnip is very soft. You might have to add some more stock while cooking; I found it evaporated rather quickly making the soup eventually too thick, so adding extra stock will keep it liquid enough. When soft, remove the bayleaves and drain off, but keep the liquid. Put the parsnips in a blender and whizz them until pureed and add some of the cooking fluid while whizzing until you have a good consistency but not too thick. At this point you can add some double cream to it, to make it a little creamier.
For the parsley puree and cream, blanch the parsley in boiling salted water for 30 secs, then refresh in iced water - this keeps the green colour. Repeat this process twice. Keep in mind that the mountain of parsley you think you have will diminish to almost nothing when blanched.. :) Bring the double cream to the boil. Squeeze out all the water from the parsley, then put in a blender and while slowly adding the hot cream whizz until it is as smooth as you can get it. Cool. Fold a little of the parsley puree through the whipped cream until nice and green. Season and chil. Keep the remaining puree for serving.
For the garnish; heat the oil and toss in the cubes of bread and toast until golden. Drain on kitchen towel if needed and add to the soup.