Leek, Parsnip, Ginger soup

adapted from The Vegetarian Kitchen
by Linda Fraser

NYE 2007 - I tried something different and it worked very well. This is a great soup for a cold night. It is warm and filling.

If you are not familiar with parsnips, they are a very earthy vegetable. They add a certain depth to the soup. The ginger brings a fresh, sharp note to the top of the dish. And the cayenne adds a lingering back of the throat heat - only put on as much as your guests will enjoy.

Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8
A. olive oil 2 tablespoons  
leeks 8 ounces Sliced. White and only half the green parts.
ginger, fresh 2 tablespoons Chopped.
  parsnips 1.5 pounds Peeled and cut into 0.5 inch slices

Heat the oil in a big pot and add the leeks and ginger. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the parsnips and cook another 8 minutes.

Don't let the bits on the bottom of the pan get burned - a little browning is ok.

B. dry white wine 1.25 cup  
vegetable broth 5 cups  

Add wine and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until the parsnips are soft.

Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

C. purée step    

Put small batches into a blender and purée it. BE CAREFUL with this step. You must leave the lid of the blender slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape. If you don't, you'll have a blast of very hot, gooey stuff all over your kitchen and yourself. You will probably get burned.

My personal technique is to hold the lid slightly off with a thick kitchen towel protecting my hand and preventing little spatters from getting out.

At this point you can cool the soup and hold it in the refrigerator for several hours.

D. Ricotta cheese 2 cups At room temperature.
cayenne pepper to sprinkle  

When ready to serve, re-heat the soup to almost boiling.

Ladle it into bowls, add a dollop of Ricotta to each and sprinkle on the cayenne.

The happy New Year's Eve 2007 dinner club.... and the chef.