I’m a lucky girl in many ways. I may never win the lottery (unless my $1 contributions to the pool at work someday pay off), but when I rummage through my produce drawer in an attempt to clear out some ancient root vegetables, and manage to find a recipe that actually calls for the aforementioned tubers, it feels like a jackpot to me.
CSA Lesson #2: When in doubt, make soup
Truthfully, that rule applies not only to CSA shares, but to life more generally. There is a reason “no soup for you!” is still a cultural catchphrase 15 years after Seinfeld. Count me among the many whose childhood ailments were cured with a bowl of Mrs. Grass, or if I was very fortunate, my Oma’s pillow soup. But I digress….
This soup is an ideal vehicle for any leftover produce rolling around your crisper. The carrots and parsnips could be replaced with any number of winter veggies with equally delicious results. Likewise, use any kind of potato you have handy. I used Yukon Gold, if you are looking for a specific recommendation. A side note: this recipe calls for an immersion blender. If you don’t already own one, I cannot recommend this small electric highly enough. This version is inexpensive, and comes in festive colors.
Potato, Carrot, & Parsnip Soup
Adapted from Epicurious
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 large onions, halved and sliced
Carrots and parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups total)
3 medium – large potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ cups cream, milk, or half and half (or any combination of the three; I used 1 cup cream, ½ cup 2% milk)
1-2 oz. splash of vermouth
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add carrots and parsnips and cook 10 minutes. Add potatoes and rosemary, cooking for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add broth and simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree soup to your preferred consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the soup in batches to a stand blender and puree. Mix puree into remaining soup in pot, repeating until soup is as creamy as you like. Use EXTREME caution when blending hot liquids, taking care to fill the blender no more than 1/3 full.
Stir in milk/cream, paprika, and vermouth. Season to taste with salt if needed. Bring soup to simmer, thinning with additional broth, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with warm bread.