Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Creamy Parsnip and Bacon Soup

I love, love, love soups. And they are a great way to experiment with ingredients, which is exactly what I did the other day.

I've never cooked with parsnips; honestly, I don't think I'd ever even eaten parsnips before Monday. And I have eaten and cooked my fair share of vegetables, but this less than appealing, or should I say bland looking, root veggie never made the cut.

When I spotted some parsnips in our local fruit/vegetable market late last week, I decided it was time to take the plunge. So I bought quite a few not really knowing what I would do with them. Simply roast them with fresh herbs? Mash them into a silky puree? Then I saw some neglected bacon in the freezer that needed to be used up ASAP (Bacon? Neglected? I know it's weird, but you've got to think healthy sometimes.). So I started to imagine a hearty soup, a chowder of sorts. Bacon, parsnips, leeks, onions, a little flour, some stock, some herbs and a touch of cream to round it all out.

The result, as you'll see below, was more than satisfying. And parsnips will definitely make an appearance on our table more often.

Creamy Parsnip and Bacon Soup
Serves 6

1/2 lb bacon, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
Thyme from 5 or 6 sprigs
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup half & half

Heat a large pot and render the bacon. Add the onion, leeks and parsnips and cook a few minutes until the onions are quite tender. Season the vegetables with some salt and stir in the thyme and bay leaves. Add the flour and stir for a minute or two. Add the broth and water, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the parsnips are fork tender. Stir in the half & half, bring back to a boil and simmer for a couple minutes more.

Season with additional salt and pepper and serve.


Peter M said...

Parsnips are under-rated if you ask me...they taste great!

This soup sounds down home could call it 'parsnip chowda'?

Peter G said...

Parsnips are one of my favourite root vegetables...I love the combination with the bacon in this hearty soup Maria...a perfect marriage!

doggybloggy said...

what a great soup idea - I must have some

funny: two peters and then my word verification rhymes - deetr

Rosie said...

Parsnips are a wonderful sweet root veg like Peter says they taste great!

I really do like the sound of your soup - this is a must make for me to ward of the cold days here in the U.K.

Rosie x

Maria said...

Thank you all for comin' by! I'm just about to roast the rest of the parnsips with some chicken breasts -- told ya they'd be a regular on our table from now on!

Laurie said...

I love parsnips and your soup looks awesome!

Bellini Valli said...

I love the semi sweetness of parsnips..I think they would marry very well with the smokiness of the bacon in this soup. This is a very comforting dish:D

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Hi Maria. Never thought of making pasnip soup. Looks good. I'll have to try it. Don't worry about not doing the meme. I take them as stress relieving little word games we all need sometimes. But there are times when life and times don't allow us the luxury of engaging. They just make good "fillers". :) Just know that you're thought of. Hugs.

Laurie Constantino said...

Funny, I just finished writing up a soup recipe with both parsnips and bacon (and a bunch of other stuff). This is nearly the opposite of mine, but looks very very delicious. Yum!

Núria said...

Wow Maria, what a great creamy soup! I never use parsnip... well, only when I make my weekly herbs and meat big broth pot. But, when boiled, I throw it away.
Nice to know other applications :D

We Are Never Full said...

mmmm, i love that you left it chunky! makes for more of a meal, instead of a snack! looks great.

Núria said...

Hola Maria! There's something for you in my blog :D

Ivy said...

I am not sure if we can get parsnips in Greece but it sure sounds like a delicious soup Maria.