Parsnip, Pear and Pistachio Soup
From Stephanie Izard
Just in case I forget to think about food for more than 5 minutes, I’ve made sure to subscribe to a plethora of eating and cooking email services. They never fail to tempt me with seasonal and innovative recipes from awesome local chefs and restaurants. This soup came from a Daily Candy email featuring Chicago restaurant goddess Stephanie Izzard, of Top Chef Season 4 fame. I’m embarrassed to admit it’s actually one of the only seasons we’ve never seen (and quick to blame Bravo for not releasing it to Netflix), but we did recently have a fantastic dinner at her new(ish) restaurant, Girl and the Goat.
If you’ve never used a parsnip before, have no fear. They basically look and act like a stumpy white carrot. As for the pistachios, word to the wise: buy them pre-shelled if you have the means! We have an unspoken agreement in the honeymoon kitchen that I do most of the dishes in exchange for John doing the crappiest prep tasks, but I still felt a rare pang of sympathy watching him shell 3/4 cup of pistachios! I wonder if he feels that way when I clean dishes with caked on cheese….
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 8 oz parsnips, peeled and sliced
- 2 ripe Anjou pears, peeled and diced
- ¾ cup shelled, roasted, salted pistachios, divided
- ½ cup white wine
- 3½ cup chicken broth
- 1 medium sized dried red chile (she suggests Thai or bird chile, but I could only find Mexican varieties)
- 1 cup coconut milk (recipe calls for regular milk, but I like coconut milk in soups)
- Melt butter in a medium stock pot over medium heat.
- Cook onion and garlic until translucent, but not browned – about 3-5 minutes.
- Add parsnips, pears, 1/2 cup pistachios and wine. Cook until the liquid is almost completely gone.
- Add broth and chili, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until parsnips are soft, about 1 hour.
- Transfer soup to blender and puree until velvety smooth.
- Return to pot, stir in milk and heat until warm enough to serve.
- Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup pistachios.