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Parsnip Soup with Curry Spices

12 February

Warm curry spices balance the apple-sweet flavor of parsnip, a delicious winter vegetable that is often overlooked. Serve the soup by itself or with a few spoonfuls of cooked brown rice added to each bowl. Although I usually serve this soup hot, it makes a good cold soup as well, perhaps for an especially warm day in early spring.

5 – 6 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock (recipe below)
3 – 4 parsnips, about 7 inches long
4 tablespoons clarified butter (optional) can use regular butter
1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
2 – 3 leeks, white parts only, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup light cream or coconut milk
whole cilantro leaves for garnish
watermelon radish, sliced very thinly, for garnish

1. Scrub the parsnips, trim the tops, and peel them, if you choose to do so. Quarter them and chop into pieces.
2. Heat the butter in a soup pot and add the onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it turns a rich golden color, about 15 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and half the chopped cilantro, and cook for 1 minute, then add the parsnips, leeks, carrots, celery, salt, and stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and cook until vegetables are soft.
3. Cool the soup briefly; then pass it through a food mill or blend it at low speed to leave a little texture and flecks of color. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the cream or coconut milk, and taste to adjust seasonings.
4. Serve the soup garnished with the remaining chopped cilantro, a few whole leaves of cilantro, and a cluster of thinly sliced radishes in each bowl.
Serves 4 – 6

You can use your own choice of stock, but this one is amazing.

1½ cups leek greens, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks with some leaves, diced
5 whole bunches cilantro
1 ounce ginger root, peeled and sliced (optional)
½ teaspoon sea salt
7 cups water
1. Put everything in a pot and slowly bring to a boil; then cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Strain immediately. There should be 5 – 6 cups.

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