If you are trying to eat seasonally and live anywhere near the east coast of North America, there’s a good chance you might be getting a bit tired of carrots and cabbage (or at least that day is clearly visible on the horizon).
Pear and Parsnip Soup is what you need.
This classic combination brings together the peppery sweetness of parsnips and smooth mellowness of pears. Serve it with some sturdy bread and a robust cheese and you’ve got a fine meatless winter meal.
Some rice is added to boost thickness when the soup is pureed, but you can leave it out if you prefer a thinner soup. It’s also finished with a half cup of cream to boost the flavor and luxuriousness, but if you don’t do dairy you can leave that out, too. (Or substitute milk if you want a lower fat alternative.)
This soup can be made ahead and frozen. If you are using the whipping cream, do not add it before freezing. You can stir it in on serving day when you reheat the soup.
Parsnips are neglected vegetable that deserve a chance to shine more often. I hope you’ll give them a try with this recipe.
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped fine (about 1 cup / 250 ml)
- 3-4 medium peeled parsnips roughly chopped (about 2 cups / 500 ml)
- 2 large pears roughly chopped (about 2 cups / 500 ml)
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
- 4 cups / 1 liter vegetable stock
- 1-1/2 teaspoons / 7.5 ml ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon / 1.25 ml ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup rice optional
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml whipping cream
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat pan.
Add chopped onion and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the onions are soft. Do not let them brown- if the onions begin to brown turn down the heat.
Add parsnips, pears, remaining salt, stock, coriander, pepper and rice (if using).
Heat mixture until it reaches boiling point. Turn heat down to medium low / low and simmer with the cover on until the parsnips are soft and the rice is cooked (about 20 minutes).
Let mixture cool, then puree in blender or food processor.
Return pureed soup to saucepan and bring back up to boiling point. Stir in the whipping cream and return to boiling point. Simmer for one minute then serve.
You can freeze this soup by preparing it up to the point where the cream is added. Do not add the cream before freezing. To serve, thaw soup and bring to boiling point, then add cream and return to boiling point. SImmer for one minute and serve.
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