Parsnips? Really? Well, yes. Although they're not a particularly popular feature on American menus, this root vegetable that looks like a fat, white carrot is inexpensive and easy to prepare. Starchy enough to serve as a stand-in for potatoes, parsnips are also a fine ingredient for soups, salads and side dishes. Try peeling them, then roasting them with olive oil, salt and a drizzle of maple syrup.
For gardeners, the handy thing about parsnips is that you don't have to harvest them in the fall, In fact, some people think they're tastier the longer you leave them in the ground. Some gardeners dig them up throughout the winter as they need them. Others wait until spring, when parsnips are at their sweetest.
Curried Parsnip Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cubed
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 3 1/4 cup boiling vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes or paprika for garnish
Saute the onion in a large pan over medium heat until soft, about five minutes. Add the parsnips, garlic and curry powder to the pan, and saute for a couple of minutes. Pour the vegetable broth into the pan, stir and simmer for 15 minutes, until the parsnips are soft. Remove from heat and blend with a hand mixer, immersion blender or regular blender for 30 seconds to one minute. Pour back into the large pan, then stir in milk and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with paprika or pepper flakes.