Sunday, November 11, 2012

gingery soup with black-eyed peas, parsnips and chard

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.
Aside from chopping, this soup is easy to make, plus it's light and uber-nutritious. It's the bowl of comfort you crave when you have a cold or when the thermometer has plunged deeper than Pamela Anderson's cleavage. And as a special added bonus, it gets better each day. I liked this so much I actually ate a bowl for breakfast this morning!

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

Serves 6

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.

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Hannah said...

I could sure go for a giant bowlful of this soup right now. It sounds like a warm hug from the inside! Perfectly comforting, and easy to adapt to any greens or beans on hand, too.

Mattheworbit said...

looks great - don't publish, but minor type "purley" for "purely"

Allysia said...

I freaking love parsnips! Maybe a lot of my passion comes from the fact that they get no love, but I agree with you, they have such a nice flavor that it's a shame that they often just get overshadowed with other (awesome) veggies. And i heart black eyed peas - this looks yum!

gina said...

A beautiful, nutritious combination of flavors and textures. Thanks.

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