Yesterday when my next-door neighbor left with her husband for a vacation in the United States, she asked if I would feed her cat.
As an advance thank you, she left a bowl of fruits and vegetables on the kitchen table. She scribbled a quick note to me that said, “Please take it all so that it doesn’t go to waste!”
Since my family and I eat a LOT of fruits and veggies now and given the price of produce in Switzerland, the bowl of food was a welcomed gift. After observing the contents, I came across one vegetable that I have never eaten: parsnip. I knew what it was but that was all, and so the intrigue and discovery began. I wondered if I could make a soup out of it, and absolutely I could. There were more than a dozen recipes already available so I used them as a basic guide then improvised the rest of the way. For people like us — the newly initiated, adding a bit of potato hits the spot. The result was rich yet light and delicious soup. Pair the soup with either a crusty bread like a baguette or cornbread and you have a full meal. If your children are finicky eaters like mine, then the taste of this flavorful soup will come as a complete yet delightful shock.
One note of caution: Parsnip when can get really sweet, more so than carrots. While we normally sweat our vegetables before adding them to soups, here it intensifies the sweetness. So be sure to add the parsnip separately from the other vegetables and add to the broth after all the other ingredients have cooked for at least 15 minutes. If you don’t like the soup, don’t throw it away. Use the soup and turn it into pancakes or muffins!