|Parsnip & Bacon Soup|
Every Tuesday I choose a different friend to be my tutor for a day: I select one of their original recipes, I make the recipe following my friend's instructions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I scarf down as much as my belt-line will permit - and then I share everything I love about my friend's recipe. Learn More
Today's Tuesday Tutor: Blue Kitchen Bakes
And while Jen's blog is mostly devoted to baking, she's not afraid to share her own cooking creations too - like this parsnip and bacon soup. As soon as I read the title, I knew I wanted to attempt the soup because I love parsnips and I've been curious about how one might transform them into a soup. And I secretly yearned to use star anise - which is really the star of this soup (pun intended).
About the Author
- "Since starting my blog 6 months ago I've been a lot more inspired in the kitchen and have started creating more of my own recipes taking inspiration from my growing collection of books."
- "I'm guilty of spending too much time time day dreaming about baking when I'm supposed to be focused on my research."
- "I am a complete bookworm and I'm constantly reading either academic research papers (for my PhD), novels, cook books or foodie blogs. I read so much I think I'm starting to wear my glasses out!"
- "I live in the UK but I regularly go to France to visit my family and to gorge myself silly on French cheese and patisserie."
- "I secretly dance around the kitchen to cheesy 80's music when I'm baking."
How to Make: Parsnip & Bacon Soup
|You will need 6 strips of bacon. I prefer a smoked nitrate-free bacon.|
|Chop up the bacon into small pieces|
|By now your pan should be pre-heated, so add the bacon. I find the bacon has enough fat that|
extra oil is unnecessary for crisping the bacon. Keep an eye on the bacon, stirring every 5
minutes or so until crispy.
|While the bacon cooks, you can peel and chop your onions. I had some pretty small onions,|
so I used 2 onions instead of just one.
|I also used my chopper gadget to make quick work out of chopping the onions|
|Check the bacon. Do not remove from the pot until it's good and crispy.|
|Transfer the crispy bacon to a cooling rack lined with paper towels and allow bacon to drain|
|Add your chopped onions to the remaining bacon fat in the pot and allow them to sauté while|
you prepare your parsnips
|You will need about 1 1/2 pounds of parsnips. In my case, I had some big parsnips so I needed|
about 7 in total
|Peel the parsnips|
|I then cut the parsnips into pieces to make it easier to dice them with my chopper gadget|
|Dice the parsnips|
|By now your onions should be softened and translucent|
|Add the parsnips|
|Saute the parsnips with the onions for another 5 minutes until they begin to soften|
|Add your water. You will need enough to just cover the parsnips. I used 6 cups but later decided|
this was too much water as the soup ended up quite thin. If you prefer a thicker soup, I would
use 4 to 4 1/2 cups of water instead of 6 cups...
|Season the soup with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. I used about 1/2 teaspoon cracked|
black pepper and about 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.
|Add the star anise to the soup and the pot to a simmer|
|Simmer the soup uncovered for 15 minutes - this will help the soup reduce a bit and cook|
the parsnips while allowing all the flavors to meld
|Once the parsnips are softened, you're ready to puree the soup. If you have a immersion hand|
blender like this one, this would be the time to use it. If not, you can always blend the soup in
a heat-safe blender, working in batches...
|Remove the star anise and puree the soup|
|This final soup was a little too thin for me...|
|So I simmered the pureed soup for another 20 minutes or so...|
|Once the soup is thickened to your preference, stir through the crispy bacon bits. Check the|
seasonings and adjust.
|I reserved a few little bits of bacon to garnish the top of the soup and I served with a homemade|
dinner roll. This is one bowl of delicious comfort...
Thoughts while scarfing...
- I love the subtle flavor from the star anise - it's so delicate and compliments the parsnip perfectly. But I wanted even more of that anise flavor, so the next time I make this soup, I plan to use two star anise instead of just one.
- Despite the creamy smooth texture of the soup, there's not even one drop of cream or milk - which makes this almost a healthful soup. I suppose the bacon really cannot be considered healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but there's not really THAT much bacon anyway. The point is, no cream = better for you...
- Be careful not to over-season with pepper or salt. The bacon adds quite a bit of salt to start with and cracked black pepper will intensify as the soup cooks and cools. You really don't want to overpower the anise and parsnip beauty that is this soup...
- As I noted earlier, I prefer a somewhat thicker/creamier soup, so I ended up simmering the soup uncovered for over half an hour to cook off some of the liquid. When I make this soup next time, I plan to only use 4 cups of water instead of six.