Sunday, December 15, 2013

Duo of Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup Shooters

Inspiration comes from the oddest places sometimes.  One day last week, one of my sons missed the bus.  Ughh!  Haven't we all been there?  So Lily and I had to really hustle to load up and get him to school on time (yes, in pajamas).  Did I mention it was super cold, dark, blustery and raining?  Anyway, on the way there, Lily started talking about farmers.  We were discussing all the reasons why they are so important to us, and all the wonderful products that they bring us.  When I mentioned growing carrots, the next thing that popped out of Lily's mouth was... "And don't forget parsnips!  Carrots AND parsnips!"  I suppose that I roast these two together so much (see my Roasted Carrots and Parsnips) that my kids automatically think of this duo as a natural team.   I should also mention that when the weather is cold and miserable, I have been conditioned since childhood to think of having a nice comforting soup.  So at her suggestion, a little light bulb in my brain yelled "YES!  Roasted Carrots and Parsnips.... in a soup!  Let's do this!!"  And now here we are!

At the risk of having a boring soup, I have taken the liberty of making these a little more exciting!  So I am bringing you a Curried Roasted Carrot Soup with a Gingered Roasted Parsnip Soup.  Together, these flavors are evocative of the warm and exotic flavors of Indian cuisine.. creamy and rich, yet light all at the same time.  This duo would make an excellent appetizer soup as a first course for a dinner party.  Don't worry, they aren't spicy... just yummmmm!  Yes, parsnips can be a little spicy, but the roasting makes both the parsnips and the carrots so wonderful and sweet.


Curried Carrot Soup -
  • 4 cups chopped carrots
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped from stems
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • EVOO + kosher salt + pepper for roasting
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
  • 1/6 cup celery, chopped fine
  • 3/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup half and half
Gingered Parsnip Soup -
  • 3 cups parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped from stems
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • EVOO + kosher salt + pepper for roasting
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
  • 1/6 cup celery, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup half and half
Garnish for both -
  • light sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • fresh dill sprigs
Step-by-Step:

Prep - This part can be done in advance, with the roasted veggies being stored in the refrigerator.  Peel and cut the carrots and parsnips into about 1/4" pieces.  Season them with some EVOO, kosher salt, and black pepper.  Add whole garlic cloves and some fresh thyme leaves to the sheet pan.  Roast them all together for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.  They should be soft with a slightly caramelized edge, and taste sweeter.  Not only the carrots and parsnips will be sweeter, but also the roasted garlic.  Roasting takes the "bite" out of it, making it way more mellow.
4 cups carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4" pieces
3 cups parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/4" pieces
You may want to rotate the pans halfway through.  My pans were too large to put both of them on the same level.

Now to put the soups together -

Saute the onions and celery in butter in a saucepan.  This will be base for both, so you can do it together and split them, or do them separately.  I sauteed the onions and celery together before separating them.
3 Tbsp butter (or 1 1/2 Tbsp to each pot)
1/2 cup onion (or 1/4 cup to each pot), diced
I always keep chopped celery in the freezer.  It's so convenient!
1/3 cup total (1/6 cup to each) of chopped celery. 
 
At this point, if you have sauteed the veggies together, separate them into two pots.

For the parsnip soup, add fresh ginger that has been peeled and finely minced.
1 1/2 tsp ginger, peeled and finely minced
For the carrot soup, add the curry powder.
3/4 tsp curry powder added to the pot for the carrot soup
Allow those flavors to marry together with the sauteed vegetables a few minutes, then deglaze with chicken stock.   You could easily make this vegetarian by using a vegetable stock if you wish.
2 cups chicken broth added to each pot


Add the roasted vegetables to the appropriate pots.  Season with a bit of salt and let them cook about 5 minutes.  All we are doing here is allowing all the flavors to come together.  The veggies are already done.  
Add the roasted veggies to each pot, respectively
1/4 tsp kosher salt added to each pot
Curried Carrot
Gingered Parsnip
Now - time for some fun!  
Add the contents of the soup (one at a time), to a food processor.   You could also use an immersion blender to do this right in the pot.  You could use a blender, but please be very careful and let the soups cool first if you do.  Hot soup in a blender can be an explosive situation.  Take it from me!   Process until smooth.  Add the water to thin it.  You could also add the water once you put the puree back in the pot if you are using a food processor with a smaller bowl.
curried carrot soup
1 cup water added to each
Repeat for the other soup.
gingered parsnip soup
return the purees back to their pots.
For the final touch, add the half and half to each pureed soup.  Adjust seasonings as you see fit.
1/2 cup half and half to the carrot soup
1/4 cup half and half to the parsnip soup
This soup can be served hot or cold.  Your choice.  To make the "duo" as I have, pour each one at the same time into your shooters or bowl from opposite sides (at the same rate, obviously).  Garnish with a dab of sour cream and a fresh sprig of dill.  That big of tangy, creamy sour cream really brings this soup up a new level!
I also sliced up a baguette of French bread, then buttered and toasted them up in a griddle pan to serve along with the soup.  If you are serving the soup in a bowl, these are great for "dunking" in the soup!
Of course you can serve the soup in a bowl, too!

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe.
If you are curious as to what else I have up my sleeve, pop on over to my Recipe Index to go shopping for some more great recipes!


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