In the fall, our farmshare (Enterprise Produce) provides a plethora of autumnal storage crops, including parsnips and sweet potatoes. Parsnips, which look sort of like albino carrots (and are a relative of the carrot) actually have a greater nutritional content than carrots. Sweet potatoes are also a powerhouse for fiber and vitamins…though in this incarnation maybe not so much.
Anyway, one cold autumn evening last year I looked into the pantry. All I saw were a bunch of boring root veggies and potatoes, and I felt despair coming on.
Until I recalled seeing a recipe for parsnip purée over at Jane Spice.
Jane is known for adding flair and flavor to the seemingly most boring veggies, creating dishes with lots of interest and color. I adapted her recipe to make a warming, nourishing and spicy soup.
For the sweet potatoes, I decided to take a stab at my recently purchased mandoline slicer. If you don’t have one, go out and get one. Now. It will change your life. We fried up some crispy sweet potato chips in some neutral oil, tossed with sea salt and black pepper, and plated with the soup to add some crunch!
Parsnip Purée (adapted from Jane Spice)
¾ pound parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large zucchini chopped
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 quart vegetable stock (I make my own…I will write a post about that at some point. Easy, economical and incredibly useful.)
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp chili powder
1 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and soften for three minutes. Add the garlic and the spices and stir over at high heat until combined before adding the parsnips, zucchini and stock. Season to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer until the parsnips are soft, then liquidize to a smooth consistency (I used a blender. An immersion blender or carefully utilized food processor could work too).