Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pear, Parsnip and Celery Root Soup

Does that title not scream Fall or what? Some of my favourite flavours are happening right now. All of you hotsummer loving folks are not going to like what I'm about to tell you but I'm so happy it's Fall! Do you hate me yet? Let me explain; I can't stand the heat. I'm sure you hate me now. I know, it sounds crazy but I just can't stand being hot. Chalk it up to growing up in the North if you will but here's another factor; Let's face it, I write about food so suffice it to say that's it's in everyone's best interest that I not prance around in a bikini and daisy dukes all summer long. That is just one reason why Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons, layers. Plus I get to bust out all of my cute jackets. Another is because I love to cook good old comfort food like slow cooked roasts, soups and stews which are all an impossibility in hot, hot heat. So with the temperatures cooling off I was finally able to get my soup on. And let me tell you, this one rocked my world. A little sweet, a little savoury and utilizing some of the best the season has to offer, this fabulously luxurious soup is already a favorite in our household.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 med onion, diced
1 large parsnip, peeled & diced
1 cup celery root, peeled & diced (about 2 medium sized)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 large pears, peeled, cored & diced
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup apple juice
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large soup pot over low-medium heat. Add the onions and saute about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, parsnips and celery root and saute another 5 minutes.
2. Add the wine and increase heat to bring the wine to a simmer. Simmer the wine for 6-7 minutes or until the wine has reduced by half. Add the chicken stock, apple juice and pears. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, partially cover the pot and simmer slowly for about 1 hour.
3. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste, add the nutmeg and remove from heat. Allow the soup to cool, transfer to a blender and puree the soup. Note that it's very important to allow the soup to cool before blending and you may have to blend in batches depending on the size of your blender. A hand immersion blender would work well here too.

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