Everything is frozen outside of my window. Sidewalks and streets are covered in snow and ice, as is the plot that I usually call my garden. Winter is tough for fresh vegetables if you are trying to cook from local ingredients, but one thing there are always lots of : root vegetables. And why not make the best of it? How about Carrot Parsnip Ginger soup with Fried Dill and Parmesan Crisps?
Simple to put together this soup has just a few ingredients and doesn't even require chicken or vegetable stock (although you could use it if you like).
Fresh, warm and delicious...
... especially after a quick whip in the food processor and...
... the addition of crispy dill and...
... crunchy Parmesan Crisps...
... how could you ever go wrong?
Carrot Parsnip Ginger soup with Fried Dill and Parmesan Crisps:
2lbs carrots, coarsely chopped
2lbs parsnip, coarsely chopped
2 medium yellow onions chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 3" piece of fresh ginger
6 cloves of garlic finely chopped (you can use less if you aren't a garlic lover like me)
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh dill
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
Salt (to taste)
a dash of cayenne pepper
plain yogurt (garnish/topping)
Place the butter and onions in a heavy soup pot or dutch oven. On medium heat saute the onions and slowly caramelize them. By doing this you are building up the flavor base for your soup. Once the onions have some color add the garlic, bay leaves and one inch of the fresh ginger, chopped. Saute for a couple of minutes until you can smell the aromatics. Add the carrots and parsnips and 2 tablespoons of olive oil the the pot and saute together for about five minutes. Fill the pot with water (or stock if you prefer) just above the vegetables. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer with a cover on until the vegetables are very tender. At this point let it cool a bit. After it has cooled slightly, remove the bay leaves and puree in a blender or food processor.
Once you have your puree, return it to the original pot and add water or stock until you reach the consistency that you prefer. Take the rest of the ginger and grate it in to the soup. Season with salt and a bit of cayenne pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 20 minutes to let the ginger fully incorporate.
During this time, heat the additional 2 tablespoons (you may need more depending on the size of your pan) in a small pan until shimmering hot. Put 1-2 sprigs of dill in the oil at a time and fry until just before it changes color. Remove and let drain on paper towels.
Then in a baking sheet on oiled tin foil, parchment paper or a silicone sheet place spoonfuls of grated Parmesan 1 inch apart. Flatten them a bit and place in a 400 degree oven until they become golden brown. Remove from sheet when still slightly warm and place on wax paper.
Serve soup with a dollop of plain yogurt, some fried dill and one Parmesan crisp.
*Last time in Recipes: Shortbread Jam Cookies