We don’t usually think of parsnips as colorful. When fresh pomegranate seeds and cilantro are showered on this mildly spicy, coconut-scented soup, however, the visual appeal rises dramatically. Each bite includes a lovely acidic accent.
See other related recipes in Rooting Around.
Yield: 24 (8-ounce) portions
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Shelf life: at least a week without the garnishes
2 ounces canola oil
12 ounces chopped onions
3/5 ounce garlic, chopped
1½ ounces fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 tablespoons garam masala
2 ounces unsalted butter
4½ pounds parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 quarts vegetable stock
3 pints canned coconut milk
Salt and white pepper, to taste
½ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1. In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and gently saute until onions are translucent and lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Stir in ginger and garam masala and cook for 1 minute longer.
2. Add butter and parsnips to the pan, turning to coat them well. Cook for 2 minutes, pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook until parsnips are tender when pierced with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Transfer mixture to the jar of an electric blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to the pan, stir in coconut milk, about a tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon white pepper. Adjust seasonings as desired.
4. To serve: Ladle a cup of soup in each bowl. Add a generous pinch of cilantro leaves and about 1 teaspoon of pomegranate seeds.
Nutritional Data (per 8-ounce serving): Calories: 190; Cholesterol: <5 mg; Sodium: 230 mg; Fat: 13 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g
|2 ounces canola oil||$.15-.25|
|12 ounces chopped onions||$.23-.39|
|6 ounces garlic, chopped||$|
|1.5 ounces finely chopped fresh ginger||$.17-.29|
|3 tablespoons garam masala||$.60-.99|
|2 ounces unsalted butter||$.30-.50|
|4.5 pounds parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped||$5.37-8.96|
|3 quarts vegetable stock||$5.68-8.97|
|3 pints canned coconut milk||$3.04-5.07|
|Salt and white pepper|
|½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves||$.29-.49|
|½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds||$1.49-2.43|
Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine