Oh, what a beautiful day! Spring cleaning all morning left me with a tidy spare room and a heap of odds and ends to take to the dump tomorrow. What a huge sense of satisfaction it is to finally get organized! I went searching for newts, but they seem to be hiding from me today - there are lots and lots of violets, though, so I thought I might decorate a springtime soup with their prettiness.
As I was pulling out the enormous leek I bought, then some potatoes, I spied one of the last bags of parsnips of the season, lurking in the vegetable drawer, so I thought I'd see what a parsnip vichyssoise would taste like. Ummmmm, that was a yes! The parsnips and leeks were sauteed in a little butter for a bit, which sweetened them much as caramelizing onions does. My first thought was how interesting it was, and my second was a wish for a nice slice of roasted pork - I think that would go beautifully with the soup. As it was, I had some lovely roasted tomatoes with basil breadcrumbs - a recipe I found on Karina's Kitchen.
I tasted it both warm and room temperature, and liked them both ways.
How to make Parsnip Vichyssoise:
1 cup cleaned, sliced white of leeks
1 T. unsalted butter
2 cups peeled, sliced parsnips
2 cups scrubbed potatoes, sliced
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
pinch of thyme
1 cup milk
1 cup medium or heavy cream
1/2 cup finely minced chives
1/2 t. dried dill or 1 t. fresh, minced
salt and pepper to taste ( add at the end, after pureeing)
a few violet blossoms for garnish
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the leeks and parsnip slices. Saute for ten minutes , covered, then add the potatoes and water and chicken or vegetable stock.
Add the thyme and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Using an immersion blender, or a regular blender, puree the soup.
Add the chives, milk, and cream, then the dill.
Stir well and taste carefully. It will need salt and pepper, but I do it slowly - adding salt, tasting, adding pepper, tasting. Better too little salt than too much!
Ladle into bowls and garnish with violet flowers, ( or chive flowers, if you have them).
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