I'll start with my bad news. This blog is going to go unillustrated for a little while. Saturday night was my 20-year high school reunion. There was much merriment and frolicking, fueled by an open bar. There was a need to joyfully greet each new/old face one saw, even if 20 years ago we were pretty sure we never wanted to see said faces again (the open bar probably helped lubricate those moments). So in the midst of the drinking and hugging and photo-snapping, I accidentally flung my camera from my hand and it hit the floor lens-down. It was turned on, so the lens was extended out, and the impact of the blow set it permanently askew, so it won't retract into the camera as it should. Although I can salvage the pictures I took prior to the accident, I can't take any more pictures with it. I'm on the hunt for a new camera.
Since I'm a terrible food photographer anyway, I like to think people read my blog for my witty prose and delicious recipes and no one will care about the missing photos.
On to today's recipe...
I have said many times that I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into fall because I love summer so much. Still, once fall becomes inevitable, I do give in to the season and enjoy the foliage and the good riding weather and, of course, the fall produce. What says fall more than apples and cider and root vegetables and soup? I decided to experiment this week with a soup that would celebrate the distinctive flavors of fall.
Since this weekend was my reunion and my best friend was in town, I stayed home all weekend. (On the down side, I missed the great foliage I would have seen in the mountains had I spent the weekend with the horses.) This meant I could go to a lot of places I don't have a chance to go to very often.
One of those places was the Rye farmer's market on Sunday morning. It's a small market, but has some great vendors. This is a problem. The vendors are too good. This place is DANGEROUS. I went there looking for some fruits and veggies and cider. I came back with the fruits and veggies and cider along with a jar of homemade dill pickles, a wedge of raw sheep's milk cheese, and a jar of chocolate-hazelnut butter (sort of like nutella, only grainier and less sweet). I spent way more money than I intended to. Oops. Oh well. I have some good snacking.
And my soup? It's a parsnip and apple soup. One things I was able to do with the extra hours at home was cook up a huge amount of homemade stock, so I put it to use and made something I could have for lunch for the next few days. I don't know what inspired me to mix apples and parsnips in a soup, but I wanted to try something a little different from all of the squash soups and carrot soups out there.
The recipe calls for big parsnips. Do not underestimate the word BIG. The parsnips I bought were massive (it's times like these I miss my camera so you could see how big they are). They could have doubled as clubs. They were big enough to cause damage if you hit someone one the head with one.
My soup was kind of thin. I would encourage anyone who wants to try this to experiment with adding some bread or some cream. I was trying to save a few calories.
Parsnip and Apple Soup
1 Gallon chicken stock (homemade if you have it)
2 BIG parsnips thinly sliced
2 medium onions cut into pieces
3 medium apples, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
1 Tbl. fresh thyme leaves
1 cup apple cider
1 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
Set stock to a simmer and add parsnips, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook until soft and add apples and onions and cook until they are soft.
Remove bay leaves. Add cider, sage, and almond meal and puree the contents of the pot with an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender you can use a food processor or a blender, just don't try to blend it all at once.
Serve and enjoy.