Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Lowly Parsnip

Growing up in Newfoundland meant consuming primarily root vegetables as availablity and cost of other vegetables made it difficult to incorporate the "exotic" into menu preparation. Sunday dinner meant carrots, potatoes, turnip, parsnip and cabbage, which ironically would show up as Monday's hash and soup on Tuesday.

Of all the root vegetables, parsnips were the least desired. The colour-non-existant; taste-too peppery. Since leaving the East Coast over a decade ago and incorporating nutrients naturally versus supplements, I have re-discovered the exotc taste of parsnips.

Parsnips provide an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, pantothenic acid, copper, and manganese. They also offer a very good source of niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium. They are a good source of riboflavin, folic acid, and vitamins B6 and E.

My favourite recipes for parnsips involve soups and roasting. Although the following recipe includes cream-I omit it as the soup is fairly thick. I have added a chopped up, peeled apple to this recipe towards the endd of teh cooking.

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cubed
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cube chicken bouillon
3 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch red pepper flakes or paprika for garnish

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onion in butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the parsnips, garlic and curry powder, and fry for a couple of minutes to release the flavors. Mix the bouillon cube into the boiling water, and pour into the saucepan. Stir to remove any bits of vegetable from the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes or until parsnips are soft and easy to break with a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat, and blend with a hand mixer or immersion blender. Stir in the cream, and heat through. Do not boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with red pepper flakes or paprika. Calories (with cream 250), without cream 196. Fat w cream 17.4, without 12.1.

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