I’m often asked, “Why do you write a food blog?”. The following story is just one of the very many that exemplifies the most important reason: I love connecting with people who are passionate about food and cooking.
A year ago last Christmas, our friends’ parents were in town visiting, so we invited them to our house for a chili dinner. We talked about A Passionate Plate and as soon as they returned home, Bruce signed up to receive our e-mail updates. Every now and then, he lets me know he’s still reading and trying our recipes. His kind words of encouragement keep me going.
Well, last year, I received a very special message from him:
“Shirley asked me to send you the attached recipe. It was printed in the Grand Rapids, MI Press about 15 years ago. As you read it, some explanations may help. The restaurant Pont de la Tour in London is (or was at the time) owned by Sir Terrance Conran, the British designer who started the chain of Conran stores around the world offering high-design furniture for budget-conscious households. He is an acquaintance, and his high-end restaurant PdlT is kitty-corner across the Tower Bridge from the Tower of London. He also has (or had) several restaurants in London including Bibendum, a re-purposing of the old Michelin Tire factory, complete with a roof-top lighted sign of Bibendum, the Michelin Tire Man.
This soup recipe is not for the spring-time …. In my opinion, it would be better appreciated in the late fall. I did not get the recipe from PdlT, but reverse-engineered it while at the table. Oh, and we do live in Alaska, a bedroom suburb of Grand Rapids.”
Turns out Bruce was a first-generation food “blogger” himself. Well, since he suggested it was not a spring-time recipe, I filed it away to try in the fall. Somehow, time got away from me and it wasn’t until I received this e-mail from him last week that I knew I must try this soup no matter what the season:
“Boy, did we have a good night last night! The University Club had a fund-raising soup cook-off for their scholarship fund. Seven chefs competed. My curried parsnip soup took home most of the categories! “Best overall” as rated by the judges and the crowd, “best presentation” by the judges. AND… the club is adding the soup to their menu! Shirley and I had a lot of fun arranging the serving table.”
Cream of Parsnip soup is simple, yet so elegant! The velvety smooth texture and warm spices are so comforting I’d serve it ANY time of year. It was a delicious starter for our steak dinner last night. Everyone raved about it as they scraped their bowls clean.
Don’t forget to enter our March Giveaway. Respond to the post (here) and name a fruit or vegetable you used to hate, but now enjoy. And, we’d love it if you would tell us what changed your mind about it!
For the record, I never enJOYed parsnips (too bitter) until I tried Bruce’s wonderful soup. Thanks, and congratulations, Bruce!
- 3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 large boiling potato or 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2-4 cups chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp garlic, crushed
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1/4 tsp. curry powder
- 1 cup cream
- Salt, to taste
- White Pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
- Sour cream and chives, garnish
- In a large pan, combine parsnips, potatoes, 2 cups chicken stock, garlic, onion, and curry powder. Boil gently over medium heat, adding more stock, as needed, until parsnips and potato are cooked through and tender.
- Pour mixture into a blender or use hand-held electric mixer and puree until smooth, adding more stock, if necessary.
- Return to low heat, folding in cream. Heat through, but do not let soup come to a boil.
- Add salt, pepper and ginger, to taste. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chives.