Thursday, October 16, 2014

Parsnip, Mushroom and Sage Soup, vegetarian and dairy-free

Parsnips, mushroom, celery, onion and sage. I never have a recipe for vegetable soup, it always comes together magically, a little of this and a little of that. I share this parsnip soup more for the idea then the exactness of anything. There is no great story here, just some chilly evenings and this one reminded me how much I love eating soup. I find it satisfying, and comforting. Soup is a good meal for when you are eating alone, with our schedules that is most meals of the week. It uses hardly any dishes that need to be washed, there are lots of leftovers!  

I decided to puree this soup from the get go. So, it does not matter what the veggies look like when you chop them. Except, this is an important thought, celery. Celery doesn't puree up very well, the stringy parts always stay stringy. So if you cut the celery thin to begin with, the strings disappear!

Put all the veggies into the soup pan with olive oil. Heat, until everybody is sizzling nice and hot. Then pour in a good dose of white wine. Give this time to cook off, leaving just the flavor behind. 
Add water to cover the veggies by an inch or so. You can always add more. Simmer your soup for about 30 minutes, it will be ready when the parsnips (the hardest vegetable in there) are soft and can be shushed with the back of a spoon.

This is a job for an immersion blender if you are ok with a "country style" puree, meaning with some variety of texture still there. For a super smooth soup, send batches of it through a traditional blender for the best texture. If you are trying to impress somebody, you can send it through a strainer, a la French. 

Serve hot in soup bowls, with something crunchy on top. I like to toast pepitas in a small frying pan with a tiny bit of oil and salt. They sizzle like crazy when spooned onto the soup, and make a nice crunch. 
  • Parsnip Vegetable Soup

  • 1 head celery
  • 2 pounds parsnips 
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 oz sliced brown mushrooms
  • 5 leaves of sage (or 2 teaspoons powdered)
  • salt and pepper
Make soup, as directed above. Puree before serving. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge. 

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