Recipe for curried parsnip, carrot and potato soup with coconut milk
On Saturdays, my husband Ted and I sometimes drive to New Bedford, Massachusetts, to snack on free samples at The Gourmet Outlet, the small retail outpost of wholesaler-to-the-stars Sid Wainer & Son®. If you watch Chopped, you've seen their products. By late morning, chefs who work in other departments within the company come downstairs to the Outlet, and, in an open kitchen, cook up all kinds of dishes using the beans, grains, oils and vinegars, spices, and amazing produce Sid's sells to restaurants all around the country. It's great fun; you can schmooze with the chefs, ask questions, get pointers, and nibble enough to call it lunch. My friend Mary picked up this recipe -- hearty but not heavy, non-dairy and gluten-free -- which she served as the main course for a dinner party last week, and I loved it and asked her to share. Of course, she's adapted the original recipe, and I've adapted her adaptation. That's the way it goes with soup.
Curried parsnip, carrot and potato soup with coconut milk
Serves 6; can be doubled. Adapted from an original recipe from Sid Wainer & Son.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp chopped ginger root
1/2 Tbsp sweet (mild) curry powder
1/2 Tbsp hot curry powder
3/4 cup diced carrot
3/4 cup diced parsnip
3/4 cup diced potato
2-1/2 cups chicken broth (more or less, depends on how thick you like your soup)
1/2 cup coconut milk
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Agave nectar, to taste
In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot over medium heat, add the oil and onion, and sauté until soft but not brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin, and cook for 1 minute; then, stir in the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
Add the carrots to the pot, and cook for 2 minutes (if the pot is very dry, add a few tablespoons of chicken broth). Add curry powder, and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Then, add the parsnips, potatoes and chicken broth, and bring to boil. Stir in the coconut milk. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook all until the vegetables are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot, or carefully transfer to a blender or food processor in batches, then return the soup to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasoning with agave nectar, but stop just short of the desired level of sweetness. Let the soup simmer for 5 minutes, to bring the flavors together.
Ladle into individual bowls, and drizzle additional agave over the top. Serve hot.