Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Herbed Parsnip Soup with or without Matzo Balls

Parsnips are at their sweetest and most intense in the early spring, and I have always felt they are particularly well-suited for peysekh. This was the soup I made for the last days of Passover this year, and it proved an amenable home for matzo balls. Other vegetables I love at this time of year are celeriac and parsley root (not the same vegetable as parsnip), both of which you may add if you have them on hand. As usual, I prepared a very large pot of soup. The recipe should be fine if you want to make only half. Find other restorative herbal brews at Laurie's amazing Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska (you really want to see this wonderful blog!).

Herbed Parsnip Soup

Olive oil (be liberal)

2 or 3 largish onions, sliced

5 cloves garlic, sliced

2 medium carrots, diced

5-7 ribs celery, diced

2 pounds parsnips (about 7 parsnips), sliced or diced

1 parsley root (optional), peeled and sliced

1 celeriac (optional), peeled and diced

¼ bunch parsley (about ¼ cup minced leaves)

¼ bunch dill (about ¼ cup minced leaves

1 fresh chile (optional)

salt, pepper and paprika

matzo balls or hemp seed balls (optional)

red pepper puree (optional)

cream or milk (optional)

Prepare the vegetables. Since everything is going to be pureed, you need not make the slices as uniformly perfect as usual. Heat olive oil in a wide, heavy soup kettle. Add sliced onions and cook for ten minutes over low to moderate heat until soft and translucent. Add the remaining vegetables and continue to cook another ten minutes or so. Add about three quarts of water and a tablespoon of salt. Raise heat until the soup boils, and then lower the heat and simmer, adding more water if needed, for close to an hour, or until all vegetables are quite relaxed. Puree the soup in batches, adding the parsley and dill. Taste for seasonings. If you wish, you may add some cream or red pepper puree, or both, and, of course, matzo balls or gluten-free hemp seed balls.

Food and Drink, Recipes, Cooking, Food, Vegetarian, vegetables, vegan, Weekend Herb Blogging, antioxidant-rich foods,

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Blogger Laurie Constantino said...

Everything about this looks wonderful - I can't wait to make it! Thanks for entering it in Weekend Herb Blogging!

1:30 AM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

It sounds very tasty, but do you believe I've never tasted parsnips? I'm imagining they are a slightly sweeter version of potatoes?

10:35 PM  

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