|Ginger and parsnips play nicely together|
Poor parsnips. They are the Cinderella of root vegetables. Delicately sweet and delicious on their own, they are often overshadowed and subdued by their more assertively flavored, overbearing step-sisters: sweet potatoes, rutabagas, and celery root. That, or they are paired out of habit with neutral-tasting potatoes – a nice combination but a tiresome one that I feel does not do justice to the parsnip's gentle gingery kick.
|Ginger: parsnip's Prince Charming|
I wanted to highlight the real essence of parsnips. So in this soup, I've paired it with her Prince Charming: ginger. Ginger and parsnips are a match made in heaven: they bring out the best in each other and working together, they infuse the broth with multi-layered, harmonious gingery essence.
|Here it is cooking away, just before the chard wilted.|
You can use any kind of legumes you like, but I used black-eyed peas purely for aesthetic reasons: cheerful white ovals with dark polka dots contrasting against the deep green chard and umber broth.
Gingery Soup with Black-Eyed Peas, Parsnips and Chard
- 1/2 cup dry black eyed peas, soaked overnight in 3 inch of water
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 rib celery, cut in half and then thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 1 bunch chard, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 large parsnip, diced
- 1 tsp ume plum vinegar [Substitute apple cider vinegar or just omit]
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 T soy sauce
Heat oil in a large soup pan over medium. Add garlic, ginger, celery, and onion. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes, Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to a simmer.
Cover and simmer for 2 hours.