Those who know me may be aware that I’m a hypochondriac. Those who don’t know me, hi! I’m a hypochondriac.
How do I know this? When the nurse at the doctor’s office greets you with a, “Oh, you’re here again?”, it’s pretty clear. Then your parents, weary from 12 too many 3 AM phone calls, ban you from late-night WebMD-ing. Hmph.
This past week, it was a food allergy test and a self-diagnosed brain aneurism that led to 2 appointments with the doc. Apparently, my medical judgment is a tad bit off kilter, as I don’t have a dairy allergy, an egg allergy, nor a brain aneurism. Whatever. I’m still not convinced, and will be on self-mandated bed rest for the next 2 days.
So now I’m curled up on the couch, nursing a brutal headache that feels an awful lot like something to be alarmed about, and cradling a bowl of this soup. The first time I had this silky puree of parsnip and apple was during a weekend home in NJ. Asking my mom for the recipe, she showed me 4 short lines in the latest issue of Real Simple. Sautee onion; add parsnips, apple and broth; simmer until tender; puree. It was so good – incredibly creamy without any cream, and a distinct bite from the peppery parsnips, yet simple. Real simple. Ha.. blaming that one on the painkillers.
Whether you’re suffering from an imaginary medical ailment or not, make this soup. It’s as perfect an accompaniment to a brisk fall day as it is to a migraine.
[Original recipe from Real Simple]
Ingredients (Makes about 6 cups of soup)
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
¼ tsp salt, plus extra
¼ tsp pepper, plus extra
1 lb parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 apples (about ¾ lb), peeled, cored and roughly chopped
5-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (gluten free)
1 shallot, thinly sliced (optional)
Lightly coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil, and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add chopped onion, and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft.
Add chopped parsnips and apple to pot, and pour in enough stock to cover the veggies (approx. 4 cups). Turn the heat up to high. Once stock is boiling, turn heat down to medium and cover pot. Cook for 20-30 minutes until parsnips and apples are fork-tender.
Meanwhile, make crispy shallot garnish (if using). Add a few glugs of olive oil to a small skillet and place over medium-low heat. Once oil is hot, add sliced shallots. Cook for 6-10 minutes, stirring often, until shallots are brown and crisped. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a paper towel to drain.
Once parsnips and apples are cooked, use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth and creamy. Add more stock until you reach a desired consistency. (I added an extra 1.5 cups.) If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree in a blender in batches.
To serve, reheat if necessary, and top with crispy shallots, a sprinkle of black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.