A Queen Root
Cream of Parsnip with Parsley Celery Seed Oil and Parsnip Crisps
I adore parsnips but so rarely get to use them because they are hard to come by in my neck of the woods. They make the perfect substitute for mashed potatoes and a delicious and warming soup when thinned with a bit of stock or water. Their sweetly earthy taste is more flavorful and delightful than carrots, and that creamy beige palate brilliantly highlights vibrant toppings. It’s simply a sexy bowl of soup, a queen root if ever there was one.
Parsnip, a perky winter root vegetable, is a cousin of the carrot and parsley. Its glorious sweetness becomes more intense when roasted, so you may decide to forgo the soup and make the crisps, but do try the soup. The ingredients are simple and deliver superb flavor, especially when combined with a bit of apple. You’ll feel virtuous and satisfied, the perfect January feeling after a December filled with indulgences.
CREAM of PARSNIP with PARSLEY CELERY SEED OIL and PARSNIPS CRISPS
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ yellow onion, peeled and medium diced
5 green onions, white parts used for the soup, medium chopped. Green stems reserved for the Parsley Oil, medium chopped
1 celery rib, cleaned, trimmed, and medium diced
1 apple, Granny Smith or semi-tart apple, peeled, cored, and media diced
1 lemon, juiced (you can save the zest for something else)
¾ lbs. parsnip, cleaned, peeled, trimmed, and medium diced
water or stock to cover
1 Tablespoon cream or butter (optional)
PARSLEY CELERY SEED OIL
½ bunch of parsley leaves
½ teaspoon celery seed
reserved green stems from the green onions
½ parsnip, trimmed, peeled, and sliced thinly
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-heat heat.
Stir in both onions, celery, and apple.
Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and sweat for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir in a pinch of salt.
Pout in the lemon juice and reduce to almost evaporated.
Stir in the parsnips with a pinch of salt.
Cover with water or stock.
Return the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer for 45 minutes or until the parsnips are tender.
Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle in a pinch or two of white pepper before blending to smooth.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
You can serve it just like this, but if you’d like it creamier or with a hint of butter, stir in either of those before serving.
PARSLEY CELERY OIL
Add your parsley, celery seed, green stems from the green onions, a ¼ teaspoon of salt, and enough oil to cover the blender blades in the blender bowl.
Blend until smooth.
Taste and add more salt if needed.
Transfer to a jar and cover.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
This makes an excellent base for a salad dressing too.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silat mat.
Toss the parsnips with olive oil and place them in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake for 3 to 5 minutes before flipping the crisps over.
Bake until golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them. Everyone’s oven is a bit different. If the crisps get too brown, they taste bitter.
Remove from the oven and toss with a sprinkling of sea salt.
Ladle the soup into warm bowls.
Take a spoon and drizzle the oil over the top of the sop.
Garnish with the parsnip crisps before serving.
If there are extra crisps, scoop them onto a plate and serve them as a side to accompany the soup.
I love parsnip..... I left a few plants to seed last year. Now I have two beds covered in parsnip seedlings. The seed that I purchased did not germinate at all... I cannot remember when I last had parsnip soup so this could well be on the menu sometime soon.
This is absolutely gorgeous, Janet! I love parsnips and buy them once in a blue moon. Looks like I'll be picking up a bag on my next shopping spree!