When I was a culinary student in Vegetable Cookery, we were asked if any of us had ever tried parsnip. I was surprised that there were only a few students in that class who raised their hand. I grew up with parsnips as a staple in my parent’s garden, much like other root vegetables such as carrots or potatoes.
James Beard thought that parsnips were one of the “most neglected” vegetables and I have to agree. My goal in this post is to encourage you to try parsnips, starting with this recipe. Creamy Parsnip and Potato Soup is a humble soup created from simple ingredients that are made into a silky fragrant soup that is fancy enough to serve for a first course. You will be amazed!
The parsnip is closely related to carrot and parsley. Parsnip originated in Eurasia where it was treated as a vegetable since ancient Roman times. It is interesting to note, before the arrival of cane sugar, parsnip was also used as a sweetener.
Parsnip is most often cooked although it can also be eaten raw in salads or crudités. I recently read about a great recipe from Nik Manojlovich for Crunchy Salad with Apple using shredded raw parsnip, carrot and my favourite Honey Crisp apple with a Feta Cheese Dressing. Delicious!
The health benefits of parsnips are impressive with significant levels of minerals, vitamins, fiber, water, protein and antioxidants. Parsnips are also low in calories, carbohydrates and sodium.
Parsnips can be interchanged with carrots in most recipes (see additional recipe links below). When a parsnip is roasted, it takes on a mild sweet taste that compliments many dishes such as roast beef stew or lamb. If you do not already use parsnips in your vegetable repertoire, I would recommend that you give them a try.…