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Recipe: Curried Parsnip Soup

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Recipes, Taste of the Landscape

Curried Parsnip Soup
Serves 6
Jason Tostrup, executive chef at Epic Restaurant, Okemo Mountain Resort, has fond memories of childhood in Minnesota, when his mother would prepare her favorite buttery mashed parsnips. In his own professional kitchen, he enjoys parsnips for their versatility from raw to cooked and their ability to complement a wide range of flavors. In this soup, their woodsiness is underlined subtly with rosemary and then warmed up with curry and pepper sauce. The unexpected drizzle of another sweet spring celebrity, maple, balances the heat nicely. The oven method takes a bit longer than stovetop simmering, but is completely hands-off. If you want to get outside for the day, Tostrup suggests putting everything in a slow cooker on low for 4 to 6 hours until parsnips are tender.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  2. 1 medium leek, white and light green part sliced lengthwise, then into half-moons and thoroughly rinsed
  3. 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  4. 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
  5. 1½ pounds parsnips, trimmed and peeled (or scrubbed well if skin is not too thick), sliced 1-inch thick
  6. ½ to 1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce, 
such as Tabasco, to taste
  7. 1 4-inch sprig fresh rosemary, tied in cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter
  8. 1½ teaspoons medium-hot curry powder
  9. 2 tablespoons butter
  10. ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
  11. ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  12. 5 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, preferably low-sodium
  13. For garnish: maple syrup, fried parsnip chips (see notes), snipped chives
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large baking dish or Dutch oven, combine onion, leek, garlic cloves, chopped tomato, sliced parsnips, hot-pepper sauce, rosemary bundle, curry powder, butter, salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully pour 5 cups broth over vegetables.
  4. Cover tightly with lid or foil. Bake about 75 to 90 minutes until parsnips are very soft. (Alternatively place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours until parsnips are soft.)
  5. Remove foil or lid and cool for 30 minutes. Remove rosemary bundle and set aside.
  6. In small batches, ladle vegetables and broth into a blender. Leave center of blender lid off and cover opening with a wadded dish towel. Start blending on low and increase speed gradually until very smooth. Pour puréed batches into a soup pot. Once all is puréed, squeeze any liquid from cooled rosemary bundle into soup.
  7. Whisk to combine and thin with a little more broth if desired. Adjust seasoning with additional salt, touch of curry powder or more hot sauce.
  8. Warm through over medium-low heat and serve topped with a drizzle of maple syrup, snipped chives and parsnip chips.
Notes
  1. Slice very thin rounds of parsnip and fry them in equal parts butter and olive oil until golden brown on both sides to make parsnip chips.
  2. Photo by Ken Burris.
Adapted from Execuitve Chef Jason Tostrup, Epic Restaurant, Okemo Mountain Resort
Adapted from Execuitve Chef Jason Tostrup, Epic Restaurant, Okemo Mountain Resort
Vermont Life Magazine http://vermontlife.com/
Melissa Pasanen

Melissa Pasanen

Contact Melissa Pasanen at mpasanen@aol.com and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TasteofVermont.

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