Ya’ll know that I get this box of gorgeous produce each week from my local CSA, right? Well, I have never in my life cooked with parsnips and leeks and guess what was inside my box this week? Among the beautiful produce I found parsnips and leeks. So, today I was trying to figure out what to do with one, or the other, and I found a recipe on the Internet for parsnip soup with leeks and parsley. Hey, parsley was also in my box this week. A trifecta! Looks like soup for dinner.
The soup was easy to make and it tasted good, too. A thin soup; not a hearty soup so definitely not going to satisfy for dinner. We were trying to decide what to have with the soup when I decided to put the soup through a reduction to thicken it up. I also added some heavy cream. Then it happened… that bright idea. What if I thicken it up and add it to a pasta, like orecchiette? Maybe some fresh parmesan on top?
We couldn’t get over how delicious this dish turned out. Different than anything I’ve had before and very flavorful. Seriously good and I have now added leeks and parsnips to my list of things to grow in the garden. The dish is super easy and cost just pennies to make. Here’s the original soup recipe link from simplyrecipes.com. Modifications for a thicker sauce from yours truly is below.
Parsnip and Leek Pasta Sauce
2 Tbs. butter
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced lengthwise, cleaned, then sliced crosswise 1/4 inch
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 to 1 lbs. parsnips, peeled and chopped (I used 1/2 lb. baby parsnips and didn’t peel)
2 strips lemon zest, 1 x 2 inches each
1 tsp. salt
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped
3-4 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Heat butter in a large soup pot on medium heat. Stir in the chopped leeks. When leeks are heated enough so they begin to sizzle in the pot, turn heat to low and cover the pot. Cook until soft, but not browned.
2. Stir in parsnips, olive oil and salt. Add stock and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook until parsnips are completely tender, at least 30 minutes.
3. Remove and discard the lemon zest. Add parsley. Puree the soup until smooth using your immersion blender.
4. Stir in lemon juice. Slowly add the cream. Stir over high heat until reduced to desired thickness. Meanwhile, get your water boiling and cook the Orecchiette pasta al dente.
5. Serve over Orecchiette pasta with a little fresh parmesan cheese over the top.