The flavours in this parsnip garlic soup are complex, marry beautifully together and create a sensationally creamy, rich soup. It contains simple, humble ingredients most people can find easily at the supermarket.
Since it’s fall in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet, root vegetables, soups and stews are all in season. I discovered parsnips in New Zealand. At first I didn’t know what they were and they looked like white carrots. A Google search told me they are a root vegetable commonly used in stews and soups. I started experimenting with parsnips; adding them to my own stews, roasting them, and even boiling them.
After Thanksgiving, I used the carcass of the turkey I roasted to make turkey stock. I’m hate food waste so I try to use up every part of any animal I eat. So, after we’d stripped the bones bare of any meat, I put the carcass into a large stock pot. I added some onions, herbs and lots of water and simmered it all for a few hours. If you’ve never made your own stock, I highly recommend you do. It’s so much better than stock cubes or store-bought stock. Make a big pot and freeze it in small containers for when you need it.
As for the cricket croutons, like I said before, crickets and insects are probably the food of the future. They also happen to be the food of the past! I love reading about human evolution and particularly about the evolution of the human diet. One book that I highly recommend is Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. It’s one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. Once you get past your initial resistance to eating insects, you discover they actually taste good and are super nutritious and versatile. You can skip the crickets and use something as mundane as bread croutons, but I dare you to try the crickets!
- Five cups of homemade turkey, chicken or vegetable stock
- Three medium parsnips, chopped
- One garlic bulb, separated into cloves but not peeled, and an extra 10 cloves of garlic
- Five or six tablespoons whole roasted crickets
- Drizzle of olive oil to serve
- Pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
- Salt to taste
- One or two tablespoons of canola oil.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the unpeeled garlic cloves on it. Roast for about 30 minutes, checking on them regularly.
- Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the parsnips in and cook them for about one hour or until they become very tender.
- Allow the parsnips to cool completely, then ladle the mixture into a blender. Peel the roasted garlic bulbs and add to the blender, and blend until smooth. Add a little extra water if it’s too thick.
- Return the parsnip soup to the saucepan or pot and bring to a gentle boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan on medium heat. Slice the remaining garlic cloves and add the slices to the frying pan, and immediately lower the heat. Season with salt.
- Fry the garlic slices until slightly brown and crispy. Make sure to keep them on low heat because they can burn easily. Remove the crispy garlic to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Add the crickets to the same frying pan and toast for three or four minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- To serve: ladle some soup in bowls, top with garlic and cricket croutons and drizzle with a little olive oil. Enjoy!
Have you ever tried edible insects? Which ones did you try and how were they cooked? Let me know in the comments!
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