Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Honeycrisp Apple + Parsnip Soup

Parsnips look like pale carrots, something Bunnicula got ahold of and completely drained of color. They have a spicy bite of flavor and taste earthy and bright, a little bit like mild horseradish. Parsnips have started showing up more and more this fall, and I had heard they're great with apples. (In the recipe, I found a use for the Honeycrisp apples that are out now. I figured there must be something great about an apple harvest that calls for a giant banner and so much in-store signage excitement.)
Honeycrisp Apple + Parsnip Soup
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cup diced white onion (1 medium)
1 cup sparkling wine
2 large parsnips (peeled, roughly chopped, about 2 cups)
2 large Honeycrisp apples (peeled, roughly chopped, about 2 cups)
1 russet potato or white sweet potato (peeled, roughly chopped, about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup half-and-half
salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (to garnish)
In a soup pot or dutch oven sauté onions in butter over medium heat until translucent, and then add wine. Allow the mixture to reduce unntil most of the liquid has evaporated, and then add parsnip, potato, apple, and sage to the mixture. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables have softened and have taken on a slight color. Add the stock and reduce heat to medium-low. Bring the stock up to temperature.  Slowly add the half-and-half to the warm mixture. Do not allow soup to boil after adding the half-and-half as it could curdle. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture smooth. Add enough stock or water to achieve the consistency you desire up to another full cup. Garnish with sliced green onion.


  1. This was another recipe that was easy to follow and make. I didn't have any trouble finding any of the ingredients.

    I wasn't quite sure what rubbed sage was, so i bought fresh sage. After making the soup, we decided that it needed a little bit more oomph on top (especially since, after having a glass of wine or two, we forgot to add the green onions that we had cut). I went to chop up more sage, found the green onions, and added both to the top of the soup. We really liked the flavor of the sage on top. One thought, though, is that the green onion might have been better if it had a chance to cook in the soup for a minute after using the immersion blender.

    We served this with the muffulettas. They balanced each other pretty well, but we thought the crisp fruitiness (is that a word?) of the soup would be fantastic with a the bite of a cheddar and avocado grilled cheese.

  2. OOH! Fried sage on top would be really great!

  3. I like the sound of a cheddar and avocado grilled cheese. That's some over-the-top fun right there!

  4. I made this last night. I totally forgot the green onions but that's okay. Also, I went with a white sweet potato because it's a super food.

    Easy to put together but the cooking process had to be altered a little in my experience with making the soup.

    The vegetables were nowhere near tender enough for the immersion blender after ten minutes. My soup pot was covered during that time and the temp wasn't too low - in fact I had it dialed up just a little too high because after ten minutes there was too much color (on the way to a light char) at which point I turned the flame down and removed the pan from the heat for just about one minute before adding the half & half and 2 full cups of vegetable broth. (I chose broth over stock because of its natural creaminess.) I let that simmer for an additional 20 minutes. I was not worried about the half & half, it hit the cooled pan and tempered with the broth and the dialed down flame.) After the additional 20 minutes the veg were perfectly tender and ready for the immersion blender. At this point I ended up adding another 2 cups of vegetable broth because it was very thick and not soupy. This is probably because I went with broth over stock. When all was properly blended I stirred the soup through a fine mesh strainer to give a super silky, creamy texture.

    On night one we ate this non-vegetarian style; it was served as a starter to our roast chicken dinner with roasted fennel, carrots & red onion finished with balsamic. (A Cook's Illustrated recipe.) We grilled up bread baked with whole chunks of garlic inside from Fresh & Easy and sopped it all up to clean our bowls. Delish!

    On night two I reheated and added fresh vegetarian ravioli from Whole Foods; spinach, mushroom and gruyere cheese. It was just the right amount of savory & fat from the cheese to cut the sweetness of the soup and it was super delicious as leftovers plus it made for a filling meal.

    If you can figure out how to make mushroom "lardons" to replace my penchant for bacon lardons on top of sweet, creamy soup you would only add to your amazing arsenal of the best vegetarian recipes available right now. I've cooked through many Moosewood recipes over and over and I love them but I stand by The Chubby Vegetarian for superior vegetarian cooking with better flavors with far more interesting recipes that are easy and filling.

  5. I see the problem and I'll fix it. Thank you so much for testing out a recipe. I really enjoyed reading your comments (esp that last one). I'd love for you to pick another recipe and do it again.

  6. Rachel, check out this recipe for mushroom bacon:

  7. Dreams do come true! Mushroom bacon! I'm going to try these! I will also pick another recipe to test. This is fun! I'm such a fan of yours!

  8. None of this would be possible not, the site, or the book, or anything without the support of you and other interested folks seeking out good food that happens to be vegetarian. Thanks!