Side Dishes/Appetizers

Parsnip Soup-Ireland

Although parsnip soup may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a St. Patrick’s Day menu, it is a great alternative to the standard and perhaps to some, “overplayed,” corned beef and cabbage. I was originally thinking of making a potato soup but when searching through past blog posts I discovered I already had so I axed that idea. (Don’t get me wrong, I love making dishes multiple times especially if they’re delicious but I was just in the mood for something new.)

While I’m not the biggest fan of whole parsnips, when pureed along with countless other ingredients and drowning in a nice creamy base, it’s a great taste. And I will say that the spices definitely give the soup a nice kick especially since in my recipe version I added some extra spice (the tandoori blend). Although I made the recipe last week when I first tried it out, there were plenty of leftovers so befittingly, I get to have the rest on St. Patrick’s Day.

Slainte! (Gaelic for cheers)

Parsnip Soup

recipe adapted from the cookbook Irish Food and Cooking 

 by Biddy White Lennon & Georgina Campbell

Serves 6

2 lb parsnips

1 medium size apple, chopped

1/4 cup margarine

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp ground cumin

1tsp ground coriander

2 tsp tandoori spice blend (I used Williams & Sonoma’s blend but click here for a simple recipe to make your own)

5 cups hot chicken stock

2/3 cup creamer or half and half

salt and ground black pepper

croutons, chives or parsley to garnish

-Peel and thinly slice the parsnips. Heat the butter in a large heavy pan and add the peeled parsnips, chopped onion and apple with the crushed garlic. Cook until softened but not colored, stirring occasionally. Add the ground cumin, tandoori spice blend and ground coriander to the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, and then gradually blend in the hot chicken stock and mix well. 

-Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the parsnip is soft. Puree the soup, adjust the texture with extra stock or water if it seems too thick, and check the seasoning. Add the cream and reheat without boiling. 

-Serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped chives or parsley and/or croutons to garnish. 

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