Colorful Parsnip Soup

Colorful Parsnip Soup

We don’t usually think of parsnips as colorful. When fresh
pomegranate seeds and cilantro are showered on this mildly spicy,
coconut-scented soup, however, the visual appeal rises dramatically.
Each bite includes a lovely acidic accent.

See other related recipes in Rooting Around.

Yield: 24 (8-ounce) portions
Preparation time:
40 minutes
Shelf life:
at least a week without the
garnishes

Ingredients

2 ounces canola oil
12 ounces chopped onions
3/5 ounce garlic, chopped
1½ ounces fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 tablespoons garam masala
2 ounces unsalted butter
4½ pounds parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 quarts vegetable stock
3 pints canned coconut milk
Salt and white pepper, to taste
½ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Method

1. In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add
onions and garlic and gently saute until onions are translucent and
lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Stir in
ginger and garam masala and cook for 1 minute longer.

2. Add butter and parsnips to the pan, turning to coat
them well. Cook for 2 minutes, pour in the stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook until parsnips are
tender when pierced with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Transfer mixture to the jar of an electric blender
or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to the pan, stir in
coconut milk, about a tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon white pepper.
Adjust seasonings as desired.

4. To serve: Ladle a cup of soup in each bowl. Add a
generous pinch of cilantro leaves and about 1 teaspoon of pomegranate
seeds.

Nutritional Data (per 8-ounce serving): Calories:
190; Cholesterol: <5 mg; Sodium: 230 mg; Fat: 13 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g

Ingredients Cost
2 ounces canola oil $.15-.25
12 ounces chopped onions $.23-.39
6 ounces garlic, chopped $
1.5 ounces finely chopped fresh ginger $.17-.29
3 tablespoons garam masala $.60-.99
2 ounces unsalted butter $.30-.50
4.5 pounds parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped $5.37-8.96
3 quarts vegetable stock $5.68-8.97
3 pints canned coconut milk $3.04-5.07
Salt and white pepper  
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves $.29-.49
½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds $1.49-2.43

Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine