Parsnip, Pear and Pistachio Soup


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….

Ingredients

  • 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)

Preparation

  1. Melt butter in a medium stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Cook onion and garlic until translucent, but not browned – about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add parsnips, pears, 1/2 cup pistachios and wine.  Cook until the liquid is almost completely gone.
  4. Add broth and chili, and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer until parsnips are soft, about 1 hour.
  6. Transfer soup to blender and puree until velvety smooth.
  7. Return to pot, stir in milk and heat until warm enough to serve.
  8. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup pistachios.

Serves 4-6.

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