Cooking for fall!

Temperatures are supposed to drop to the 50s tonight. Perhaps fall is really here (forget yesterday’s high of 92…)

I have already started cooking with fall ingredients.  I have been reading Lidia Bastianich‘s new cookbook, she’ll be here for the Texas Book Festival and I am covering that for the Austin Chronicle. So I cooked Northern Italian all last week.  There was a butternut squash risotto, pork chops with lemon and capers, apple and celery root salad, and a superdelicious spaghetti with apple-tomato sauce. But one of the nicest, easiest recipes was her Roasted Chicken in Beer, graciously flavored by carrots and parsnips. Since this veggie has been in my mind a lot, my friend Dana Daniel sent me some lovely recipes, including this one here which I will make tonight:

Cream of Parsnip Soup  (Aka Potage De ‘Snip)

1 small leek, thinly sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. butter
1 clove elephant garlic
1 large bay leaf
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Sea or kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne or Tabasco
½ cup dry Vermouth
3 cups chicken stock-preferably homemade
2 cups diced parsnip
½ cup diced turnip
1 small Yukon gold potato
1 cup chicken stock
2 oz. aged Gouda, shredded
¼ cup Half & Half
Accouterments~

Diced crispy prosciutto
Frizzled leeks
Lemon zest
Fresh thyme leaves
Crispy fried parsnip wafers

parsnip soup ingredients

Dana’s mis en place for parsnip soup.

Sweat leaks in olive and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and seasonings. Cook until just soft and add vermouth and chicken stock. Add parsnips, potato, and turnips.
Cook over low heat until soft. Remove bay leaf and return leaf  to pan. Puree veggie mixture until fairly smooth. Return to pan over low heat. Add another cup of stock and simmer over low heat for about twenty minutes. Add gouda and stir until melted. Stir in Half & Half, adjust seasonings and ladle into bowls to serve. Allow guests to add their choice of toppings.
That just sounds so good to me…On the side she served a salad of baby purple romaine, Italian Parsley and shredded parsnip, very simply dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, white balsamic, sea salt & pepper. Yum.

Fresh, seasonal salad of baby romaine, herbs, and shredded parsnip

Fresh, seasonal salad of baby romaine, herbs, and shredded parsnip

For the salad, it would be best to find super fresh young parsnips, since they tend to get fibrous when they are older and bigger, like carrots. And on that note, here is a picture I just took…

Tiny parsnip plants have emerged and are thriving. I counted at least 12 of them. Thank goodness for all the rain!

Yes my gardening friends, those are parsnip seedlings, happily growing among some weeds and a forest of tiny basils. I am so happy I could cry. Let’s hope they keep growing. Now  I head out to the garden to harvest basil and spend the evening making pesto, an early night so I can be ready for tomorrow’s game. Can’t wait.

Go Horns!

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2 Comments

  1. Hola hermosa huerquilla! No he tenido chance de seguir tu blog, pero ya me inscribí al newsletter. Espero verte pronto. Te extraño amiga! Besitos

  2. I have never seen parnsiplets before–very cool.

    Maybe I will try to grow them next Fall when I am able to have a garden again.

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