The ethics of blogging seem to be such that one must either overshare, enumerate each dirty or extraneous detail, confide in the reader...or say nothing at all, exercise restraint, an idyllic picture of a self shielded by screen, dotted with catch phrases and hashtags. When it comes to writing about love, that thing that requires a nice expanse of gray area to roam and roll around in so that it can express itself properly, this polarity is especially constraining. Hence my hesitance to address love, much more my personal love, here on this platform that is so unequivocally a blog. I don't want to cheapen anything with banality in the name of the sacred reader's comfort, but I also don't want to turn my soul inside out and make anyone squirm.
All that said, I could not write about this perfectly tiny bowl of parsnip soup (to be refilled many times over), a deceptively simple, exquisitely delicate dish, without mentioning that it is a food made for love, and that I made it for mine. Not like an aphrodisiac, but I swear - it is heart warming. Carrots and parsnips are both root vegetables, so they share enough that they're interesting to each other, but the gingery spice of parsnips is unlike the carrot's fresh and pure sweetness. In this recipe, they simmer cozily together for an hour in some broth. The final pureed soup takes no cream (although I added a generous glug of olive oil, in the name of love), and is sprinkled with the crispiest parsnip chips, a discovery for the ages. In all its easy lightness, it is sophisticated and feels extravagant even on the weekend. Much like those never ending conversations.
Also, it would be nice with some focaccia, which gives your lover or friend or in-between something to do (hint hint, if you're reading this?)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
3 cups coarsely chopped parsnip (about 1 pound)
3 cups water
2 ½ cups coarsely chopped carrot (about 1 pound)
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup parsnip, cut into 1/8 inch slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add chopped parsnip, water, carrot and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Place half of carrot mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed carrot mixture in a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining carrot mixture. Stir in salt and pepper. Heat remaining 5 teaspoons oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add parsnip slices; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle parsnip chips and chives over soup.