Carrot and Parsnip Soup

Forgive my long absence. The day after Christmas, we took my mom to the emergency room. She comes home today. Our world has been in orbit around her hospital room for the past week, and everything outside of that has been pretty much forgotten – perhaps you know how that goes. She’s making her way back to real food after about a week and a half (!!) without eating. So we’re making soup.

I am not big on precise recipes. I like methods I can adapt. Alice Waters taught me (via The Art of Simple Food) a basic soup procedure: onions sauteed, veggies added and sauteed, stock added, simmer. Then puree if desired. Easy to improvise upon. She’s got a really nice recipe for carrot soup. I had some carrots, and parsnips as well. And homemade stock from our Christmas Eve duck.

My mom is great. When NutraSweet first came on the scene back when we were kids, she didn’t trust it. Didn’t want it in our bodies. We didn’t have it in the house.

When Blockbuster showed up at our local strip mall, she insisted we continue to patronize the small, independently-owned video rental shop instead. (Remember those days of browsing the VHS aisles?) We stuck by them until they closed.

My mom is one of my favorite people to talk to. A while back we were talking about across-the-board antibiotic use in livestock. She couldn’t believe that it was still a widespread practice, after so many scientists have sounded the alarm about how this contributes to the evolution of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. My mom is a scientist, a researcher. She protested, “but the scientists SAID …” as though big corporations would consider THAT reason enough to clean up their business practices. Silly Mommy.

The thought of life without my mom – not good.

Here’s an approximation of what I did. I think it turned out pretty well.


1 and 1/2 onions, sliced thin

Carrots and parsnips (perhaps 10-15 small?), diced (or hacked to unrecognizable bits, in this case)

7 cups duck/chicken stock

Butter and/or olive oil

A few sprigs of thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

I sauteed the onions and thyme in a bit of butter and olive oil for about 10 minutes. (I’d prefer to use just butter – I think butter from grass-fed cows is fine in moderation – but for Mom, I mostly used olive oil this time.) I added all of my carrots and parsnips. Tiny bit of salt and pepper. After sauteeing for another 5-10 minutes, I added the stock. I let that simmer for about 45 minutes or so, until it was really mushy. I fished out the thyme sprigs. (Note to self: it would be smart to make a note of how many thyme sprigs you put in.) Then I whipped out my handy dandy immersion blender (LOVE that thing) and pureed.

No weird unproven chemicals. No antibiotics. Sourced from local farmers. I am so thankful that my mom is healthy again.

Happy New Year!!

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