White christmas in a bowl of soup

January 6th, 2008 § 2 comments

Now that the christmas and new year festivities are over, I am craving for soup and lots of vegetables. (I am just back from a new year in Munich and a couple of days in Austria where bread and potato dumplings and spatzles are more frequent than greens as side dishes… which probably gives you an idea of the extent of my crave). So be sure to find some greens and soups around my kitchen in the coming weeks.

Although, do not worry, I have accumulated quite a couple of treats (both sweet and savoury) during the last couple of months that I haven’t had the occasion to share with you yet: appletart with hazelnuts, french brioche and its spicy compote, smoked duck breast salad, my very first stuffed turkey, dutch winter comfort food, bites and cookies….   

appeltaartdindebrioche et compote épicée aux pommesmini financiers

To start with, here´s  a delicate velvety cream soup I served for christmas eve dinner…
I have a crush on old fashioned vegetables. For christmas, I always like to introduce one of them in the menu. Last year was Jerusalem artichokes, this year my mind was set on parsnips…  I could already picture the creamy colour of a parsnip soup: white christmas in a bowl! (I soon realised I was not the only one when I got to study the food magazines for the december month: parsnips were everywhere! It made my quest for parsnips much easier than for the jerusalem artichokes that I finally had my mom bring back with her from France).

I wanted to keep the ingredients to a minimum to reveal the subtil taste of the parsnip at its best. I finally got my inspiration from one of my favourite french food bloggers: Mercotte. Short before Christmas, she posted two mouthwatering scallops recipes from two french cooks from her region (Savoie), Jean Claude Delaporte from “Beau Rivage” at Bourget du Lac, and  Yves Vincent, chef at “Mont Carmel in Chambéry. Yves Vincent got me seduced at once with his “Noix de St Jacques rôties, purée de panais et caramel de balsamique” (roasted scallops, parsnip purée and balsamico caramel)… I had already settled for a mixed greens salad with sauteed scallops and argan oil dressing so, almost heartbroken, I decided to skip the scallops, well almost: I deglased the pan where I seared the scallops with the balsamico glaze I used to garnish the soup.

veloute de panais
I took the photo in a rush, just before serving, but you get the idea…

Parsnip cream soup
Velouté de panais

serves 6 pers.
prep: 15 min. cook: 15 min

2 large parsnips (~500g),
600 ml chicken stock,

20cl liquid cream,
1 knob of butter,
sea salt and pepper to taste,
balsamico glaze* to garnish,

Clean and peel the parsnips. Reserve 12 very thin and large slices to garnish. Dice the rest. In a pan, cover the diced parsnips with chicken bouillon and half of the liquid cream (10 cl). Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until the parsnip is soft. Leave to cool and mix until smooth using a blender (don’t add all the liquid at once so that you can adjust the texture to a velvety creamy soup). Fry shortly the reserved parsnip slices in hot vegetable oil until crispy. Reserve in an air tight tin. Before serving, warm up the soup on low heat and add a knob of butter. Whip the remaining 10 cl cream. Serve the soup in individual bowls and garnish with a spoon of whipped cream, a couple of parsnip crisps and a drop of balsamico glaze (my first idea was to top the velouté with thin slices of scallop just seared and seasoned with salt, pepper and vanilla… but I had just enough for the salad).

Bon appétit!

* Nowadays, you can find some pretty easily in many deli’s. If you dont have any, you can reduce some balsamico vinegar with sugar until you get a syrup.

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§ 2 Responses to White christmas in a bowl of soup"

  • Sophie says:

    oui ! oui ! oui ! la recette de la brioche !!! miam !

  • mercotte says:

    Merci pour le clin d’oeil !!En ce moment je sers une espuma de topinambours mais qui pourrait tout aussi bien être de panais avec une escalope de foie gras sauce acidulée citron vert gentiane !!! terrible!

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