This past October we lost our sweet Ember puppy. She had more personality than any other dog I've known, and our house has felt sad and empty. She was by no standard definition a good dog, but she was our monster. I really miss her. I miss wrestling the swiffer from her every time I clean, I miss guarding the fridge and counters from her counter surfing ways, and I miss her silly antics. It's been hard on all of us.
We've been trying to make sure Stan gets out on adventures so he doesn't get depressed. We went to the beach on a cold but sunny day. Stanley spent a lot of time running after seagulls and splashing in the waves. Unlike the last beach trip, he didn't meet a porcupine.
The parsnips in my garden turned to monsters. I probably should have cooked them up a while ago, but I read somewhere I should wait until the first frost, so I did. As a result, some of them became less of crispy root vegetables and more like supporting beams.
Monstrous or not, they still made a delicious soup. I had to slice around the woody centers of some of the bigger ones, but once roasted, they were tender and delicious. I love the root-y, earthy, sweetness of parsnips. The nutmeg and cracked pepper adds a little more depth.
It's a perfect lonely winter night soup. I recommend pairing it with piles of grading and some books about Dinotrux.
Creamy Parsnip Soup with Cheddar Crisps
Makes 6 big bowls of soup
1 C leeks
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 T. Butter
1 lb Parsnips
4 C Chicken Broth
1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
Chop the parsnips into 1 inch thick strips. Arrange them on a baking sheet. Drizzle the parsnips with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender. While those are roasting, melt butter in a small saucepan and add the cup of finely sliced leeks. Sautee until tender. Add the garlic and sautee another 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Puree the parsnips and leeks with 1 cup of broth in a blender until smooth. Add the parsnip puree into the saucepan and stir in the other 3 cups of broth. Grind in pepper and salt to taste and add nutmeg. Once the soup is boiling, add the heavy whipping cream and stir together. Remove from heat.
Grate the sharp cheddar into a nonstick pan in a little pile. I put about 1 tbsp per pile. Let it melt together over medium heat until it turns crispy. Once it's a crispy all the way through, take it out and eat with the soup.