Parsnip and Leek Soup

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Photo Credit:Jonny Valiant, 2011.

 

 

For those celebrating the religious calendar, Lent is upon us, and for many it is the time to give up meat in our diets. For busy home cooks, this soup can be made in ahead of time, basically because it is an uncomplicated vegetable puree. For an added touch you can dressed-up this soup with a touch of American whitefish caviar, the salty counterpoint to sweet parsnips in the mix, makes the soup plenty festive for Easter Dinner.

 

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
For the Soup:
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut 1/4 inch thick
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut 1/4 inch thick
3 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups water
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 cup whole milk

For the Black-Pepper Cream:
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
2 ounces whitefish or other caviar, for garnish

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Directions:
To prepare the leeks, rinsed well to remove the sand and grit. Cut the white and pale-green parts only into 1/4-inch-thick semi-circles and set aside.

To Make the soup: Cut a round of parchment to fit inside a large pot. Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add leeks and a pinch of salt, and cover with parchment round (this will help keep moisture in). Cook, lifting parchment to stir occasionally, until leeks are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in parsnips, potatoes, chicken stock, 2 1/2 cups water, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently, partially covered with lid, until parsnips are soft, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Working in batches, puree vegetable mixture in a blender, being sure to hold lid down. Return soup to pot, and stir in milk. Reheat soup over medium heat (do not boil).

To Make the black-pepper cream: Stir 1/4 teaspoon pepper into creme fraiche.

To Serve: Ladle soup into 8 small bowls, and top each with a dollop of black-pepper cream and 1/2 teaspoon caviar.

Cook’s Notes:
Whitefish caviar is a relatively inexpensive variety and can found at Whole Foods  Markets or specialty gourmet food markets.

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. Stir in milk and rewarm over medium heat just before serving. Black-pepper cream can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

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Hello, March 2019!

 2019Hello March Mardi Gras 2019.png

Even though it is Carnival Season around the world and Mardi Parades are in full swing in New Orleans, it’s time for the seasonal produce guide for March.This year, according to the calendar, Spring will begin on March 20, 2019. And very soon the home gardens and large farms will be sprouting, growing and producing more local produce that will begin to show up in your local farmer’s markets. Peas and lettuce greens will be in abundance as well as asparagus, artichokes, and several varieties of citrus fruits.

It is the perfect time to “Spring Clean”, your diet.

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables for March:

Artichokes
Asparagus
Avocado
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Chicory
Chives
Collard Greens
Endive
Garlic
Guava
Grapefruit
Kale
Kiwifruit
Kumquats
Leeks
Lemons
Lettuce Greens
Limes
Mint
Mushrooms
Onions
Oranges
Parsley
Parsnips
Peas
Potatoes
Radishes
Rhubarb
Rutabaga
Spinach
Strawberries
Sweet Potatoes
Swiss Chard
Tangerines
Turnips
Walnuts

 


Hello, January 2019!

Grocery shopping is already a pretty time consuming task, but not knowing what to buy when you get there can be overwhelming and pricey during this time of year.

Just know that purchasing seasonal foods is a healthy and cost effective way to approach food shopping, because when you are buying season, the prices at the markets will at the lowest. Also note that supermarkets and grocery stores will also tend to stock up on these items in bulk because they are plentiful, making them less expensive for you—especially when they go on sale.

And remember, you can enjoy the taste of any fruit and vegetable the year-round. Whether is it fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juiced—-it all counts!

So at the beginning of each month, we will feature a fruit or vegetable that is season with a few recipes that may spark your interest and please your palate. We just want to help make shopping for seasonal foods a little easier in making your grocery list for the weekly trip to the store, a s well a helping out your wallet!

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables for January:

 

Apples
Beets
Belgian Endive
Brussels Sprouts
Buttercup Squash
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Chicory
Clementines
Dates
Delicata Squash
Grapefruit
Jerusalem Artichokes
Kale
Kiwifruit
Leeks
Lemons
Oranges
Mandarin Oranges
Parsnips
Passion Fruit
Pears
Persimmons
Pineapples
Pomegranates
Potatoes
Red Currants
Rhubarb
Satsumas
Spinach
Sweet Potatoes
Swiss Chard
Tangelos
Tangerines
Turnips
Winter Squash