My mom stopped by the other day with another batch of soup she had created up at the cabin. She said to me, "Eat this, it's delicious." For Cath to call her own cooking delicious is really something. She is an excellent cook, but would never flatter herself. In fact, she's typically watching us like hawks to see what we ate a lot of, what we didn't... and you can find her in the kitchen after dinner muttering things like, "Well, I'm not going to make THAT again..." and "People really liked the ______... I can make that again next week..." She takes her cooking seriously (and we all benefit from it). :)
So when she proclaimed the deliciousness of this soup, I was confident in its yumminess. Which is good, because I would never normally seek out something with Parsnips in it. And that, my friends, is where I would have MISSED OUT - because this soup is delicious.
Cath found the inspiration for this recipe from the gal who got me into cooking in the first place - Rachael Ray. A little about me and Rachael: her "YUM-O" and "E.V.O.O" slip out of my mouth on a regular basis, and I honestly credit her with teaching me how to experiment and improvise a bit in the kitchen. I will admit that, as a presentation coach - which is what I do in my other life -when I watch her classic "30-Minute Meals" show, and catch her awkward intro where her gestures and movements are just sooooooo overly contrived and unnatural - I want desperately to help her. So, it's a testament to her ideas and cooking that I can see past it. And I do! Cause I dig Rachael. She has great ideas!
And one of them was an idea for Parsnip and Potato Soup. Cath read this recipe and said... hmmmm... what about if I add in APPLES?! Apples! To make Potato, Parsnip and Apple Soup. YUM-O, people!
Good idea, Cath. GOOOOD IDEA!
What I love about this soup is the richness of its flavor - onions, bacon, potatoes, parsnips, and APPLES - all blended together... Super easy, and suuuuper yummy. It's simply delicious. I slurped it up so quickly I almost forgot to leave any for pictures. :)
- 6 slices bacon, cut into thick chunks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), peeled and diced
- 3-4 large or 6 medium parsnips (3 cups), peeled and chopped
- 2 medium apples, chopped. No need to peel, but you sure can.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- About 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 bundle parsley, tied with string
- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- Salt/Black pepper, to taste
- For garnish: green onions, bacon bits... Rachael Ray recommends pumpkin seeds! Yum!
- Saute bacon in a big soup pot until crisp - then chop up into little bits and set aside.
- Keep a few tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the soup pot and add the butter. Reduce the heat a tad, then add all the veggies: first the potatoes (give them a minute or two), then add the parsnips, garlic, black pepper, onion, nutmeg, apples, parsley. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until softened. Once cooked, remove the parsley.
- If you've got one, use a hand-held immersion blender to blend it all together (with the stock) IN THE POT. These things are amazing, and Cath recommends them highly. If not, blend it all up in a food processor, with the stock. Once it's all blended together, in the pot, just stir in the cream and bacon - and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Voila!