I’ve given parsnips more second chances than almost any other food I can think of. Once or twice a year I say to myself, “Maybe they’re not that bad after all”. This recipe, that includes potatoes and bacon, sounded good on paper. I’ll admit, it wasn’t that terrible, but I’ll probably just make potato and bacon soup next time. Luckily my husband likes parsnips and hopefully the soup freezes well.
Parsnip and Potato Soup
(adapted for the Sun Oven from Rachael Ray)
6 slices bacon, cut into 3 pieces
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/4 pound Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 sprig flat leaf parsley, tied into a bundle with string
4 cups chicken broth
salt to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped chives for garnish
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Line the bottom of a soup pot with the bacon (it’s o.k. if it overlaps a little). Place the pot, uncovered, in the Sun Oven until the bacon is crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Peel and chop the vegetables while the bacon is cooking. When the bacon is crisp bring the pot inside; leave the Sun Oven out. Transfer the cooked slices to a paper towel. When cool enough to handle finely chop the bacon and set aside. Drain all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pot then add the butter. Add the potatoes to the pot, stirring to coat. Top the potatoes with the parsnips, onion, garlic, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the vegetables begin to soften, about 40 minutes. Remove the parsley and discard. Add the hot broth, cover, and continue cooking until the vegetables are very soft, about 4o more minutes. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Add the milk. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with the reserved bacon bits and chives.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.