Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Roasted Parsnip and Fennel Soup

This past Sunday was our last Farmers' Market for the season :( Yes, I will miss it, so I indulged in some retail therapy - produce style!

I bought a 40 lb box of apples which will store well in our garage, 3 beautiful Red Kuri squash, organic garlic, and I also bought some lovely looking parsnip which I used in this soup last night.

Do you like parsnip? If not, have you ever had it roasted? The flavor is much better than if you have ever had parsnip boiled with other veggies like carrots or turnips. Their natural sugars develop and they caramelize and develop a sweet earthy flavor.

I was feeling the fall coolness since Sunday, and with these parsnip on hand and a very large fennel bulb, I decided to make my Pureed Roasted Parsnip and Fennel Soup from TEV... but, with a few changes.

Here is what changed:

1. I didn't have quite enough parsnip. I did have a parsley root that I also bought at the market. It was my first time using it, and I enjoyed it. It looked very much like parsnip, but with a definite parsley aroma. Parsnip has a parsley-like flavor, so they complemented each other well. I was still short, so I used a sweet potato. Not an orange sweet potato - a yellow flesh sweet potato. With these three veggies, I yielded 6 cups, chopped/sliced.

2. I had one very large fennel bulb, and this was equivalent to two smaller bulbs that I usually use in this soup. Either way, it will yield about 3 1/2 - 4 cups roughly chopped... yes, this was one BIG fennel bulb!

3. I roasted the veg on one baking sheet instead of two. As always, I line with parchment paper, and because my baking sheet is quite large (sometimes called a jelly roll pan), I put everything on this one sheet. They needed the hour plus another few minutes since the veggies did not have as much room on the one pan, but that was fine, the soup wasn't rushed.

Here are the veggies before going into the oven...

and now all toasty roasty done

While the veggies were roasting, I prepped the other ingredients, and cooked up the onions and broth. Then, the roasted veg are added to the soup pot, blended with an immersion blender

fresh rosemary stirred in

and the soup cooks for another 5 or so minutes and then served... ahhhhh!

Unlike baking, where even small changes can ruin a recipe, substitutions can often be made in cooking with lovely results. This soup worked beautifully with the addition of the parsnip root and sweet potato. Other veggies that would work nicely in here are celery root and rutabaga, and even a small amount of white potato. If you like parsnip, you will really enjoy this soup... hey, even my parsnip-phobic husband had two big bowls of this last night! Go figure.


raising_kahne said...

haha. Retail therapy. That made me laugh. It sounds like you have an abundance of apples now! I would love to have that many.

I feel how sad you are about the Farmer's Market closing. I can only hope that I can find one around here next year. However, I am glad to see some new 'fall-ish' foods coming into the organic produce section! Hopefully they will get some yummy squash so I can make the soup you posted about a couple days ago.

As usual, this soup looks great. However, I fond myself a little 'scared' to try some soups with the creamy white color. It kind of reminds me of some creamy chicken soup sometimes. Though Im sure it taste nothing like it!

kris said...

That looks heavenly, Dreena. I have never tried parsnips, so I'll have to give them a go. I like anything I can roast.

It's really very fallish here, now, too. I'm really enjoying the crispness of the air and I'm in super soup mode!

Oh, and I'll get back to your last email soon. The friend's you will be staying with came into the store on Saturday and we had a good talk. Very cool people!

bazu said...

Oh, that soup looks beautiful, and yes, I love parsnips! The first time I had them, it was a recipe for acorn squash stuffed with parsnips, carrots, cannelini beans, and rosemary. It made me love parsnips forever- the caramelization you talk about when they're roasted was a revelation. Mmmm.

Melissa said...

The soup looks great. I like parsnips under certain conditions. I would love to use it in a soup.

Vicki said...

must have been delicious with hubby's response! it's been chilly here & your soup would certainly hit the spot. btw - i love celery root - what a great option!

*a* said...

Yum! That soup looks so tasty! Now that Fall is here I seem to want soup every day! (and apples!) I haven't tried this soup, yet. Thanks for reminding me of it! I hope I'll have time to try it this weekend!

Megan the Vegan said...

that looks like a serious imersion blended!

maybepigscanfly said...

That is so wierd- I just bought a parsnip today for the first time. And to be honest I didn't even know what it was. I just like trying new things and thought that it looked fun. When I came onto your blog today I learned what that carrot looking veggie was! HHmmm, now I'm going to have to buy fennel and give that a try too. This soup looks yummy and makes it easy for me to decide how to use my parsnip. Thanks for the the idea and info on the best ways to prepare parsnip!

oh and I can't wait to find out how you will use your massive box of apples and the kuri squash.

Emmy said...

The soup looks delicious. That's great you bought a bushel of apples. I've been buying 1/2 bushels every other week or so. I love this time of year when apples are cheap and plentiful.

Eat Peace Please said...

All of these ingredients are fairly new to me. I mean, not new eating, but new preparing. I should try this now that I see what it looks like. Very "autumn" of you, Dreena.

Dreena said...

Savanna, that's funny, though I understand how a visual or other connection to meat-based dishes can turn you off! This soup isn't creamy with milk or tofu or anything like that. It's just the veg blended with the veg stock, so any 'creaminess' comes from the blending of the veggies themselves. There's also no tastes in there that would compare at all to a chicken-style soup (phew for you)!! Still, I get the need to 'adjust' to creamy-looking soups or casseroles, or whatever. :)

Thanks, Kris... cool, it'll be great to 'chat' with you again, and soon meet you!! (oh, and I'm sooo with you on the roasting of well, anything!)

Bazu, that recipe sounds quite good - and I bet the beans helped pull all the flavors and ingredients together in that stuffing. Yum! I didn't care much for parsnip when I used to have them boiled as a child. Blah. But now, to roast them or bake them - so fabulous!!

Melissa, that's cute - "under certain conditions", I like that. I'm the same way with certain veg like broccoli and cauliflower. Well, parsnip too, because I don't like them just boiled so all the flavor drains out into the water. Rather unappealing that way!

Vicki, I love celery root too - such fragrant, lovely flavor in such a nasty looking vegetable, hey? :)

Aimee, I'm totally in "soup-mode" too!! I think our bodies 'switch on' to these nourishing, warming foods.

Megan, I can only comment on how marvelous your new profile pic is - you are too cute!

Teresa, that's very coincidental! We are on some root vegetable wavelength I guess. :) If you like other root veggies, I'm sure you'll like them. Even try roasting them on their own with some olive oil and s & p, and see what you think... I'd love to know!

Emmy, the last few years I have bought the 40lb box of organic apples the last week of the market. The fellow mixes up some varieties for me, and they keep for a couple of months. The price *is* great, and then they are always on hand.

Leslie, I may be cooking "autumn", but I'm still struggling with putting away my spring and summer clothes... can't stop wearing my capris! :)

Michelle said...

dreena, i've been using parsnips alot lately, and they are definately on my list of veggies "only under certain conditions" as melissa said. i DO like them added to soup stock (especially a stock where the veggies are roasted first), and i tried my first celery root a week ago :) the soup looks great. i love a good soup!

Danielle D. said...

Mmm...parsnips are definitely underrated.

b36Kitchen said...

I love parsnips! But I'm never in the mood for soup. I'm forcing myself to come up with new soup recipes this fall and I will definetly give this one a try!
your wheelbarrel of squash inspired me to go squash crazy this week with great results..thanks for the inspiration!


Harmonia said...

Parsnips. I tried to roast them once and didn't do it quite right I am afraid. The taste was still pretty icky. I will have to give it another try. Thanks for this post. I need to come back to it when I attempt it again. Thanks for the Tofu Tuesday Comment...I responded on my blog. This week has been really crazy! I am afraid the rest of the week will be too! *sigh* Incase I don't "see" you before...have a great weekend!

Dreena said...

Michelle, I'm a soup lover also. Makes for such a fast meal - esp when you have some leftovers. Most soups taste better after a day or so in the fridge too!!

Danielle, at least for us they are. :)

Jenna, okay, I need to understand this - how can you never be in the mood for soup??!! I've heard others say they aren't big on soup and I don't get it. :) Anyhow, I'm curious to know all the squash you bought and how you are going to cook them - yum!

Harmonia, maybe you just don't dig parsnips - it might not have had anything to do with how you roasted them. Roasting is pretty mistake-proof, so I think maybe you aren't a parsnip lover! You have a great weekend too if we don't catch up!! :)

gwern said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! that soup looks so good! perfect for fall.

laura jesser said...

That looks really good--I love parsnips. However, I've never been a big fan of fennel. I don't like the flavor of licorice at all, and that's what fennel reminds me of. It's not fair, because anything with fennel LOOKS delicious and I really want to like it!

Is there any way that I should try fennel that might mellow the flavor out a bit? I don't want to write it off completely until I've given it a fair try at least a few times.

Anonymous said...

What a delicious receipe. I know it was written in the Autumn, but here it is February ... and me w/a brand new puree/immersion gadget, plus some parsnips and fennel just bought at the market .. and now a good plan to go w/it all!