Recipe

Parsnip Soup

Adapted from Spilled Milk and Matthew Amster-Burton

It doesn’t get simpler than this, so be sure you start with fresh, firm parsnips and decent-tasting vegetable stock. Homemade is nice, but honestly, I use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base, and the results are great.

3 to 3 ½ lb. parsnips
2 quarts vegetable stock
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
Water or additional stock, as needed
½ cup heavy cream
Salt, to taste

Peel the parsnips, trim and discard the ends, and cut into ½-inch pieces. Put in a large pot, and add the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the parsnips can be easily pierced with a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Set a fine-mesh strainer over another large pot. Working in batches, puree the parsnips and stock in a blender, tossing in a couple of pieces of butter with each batch. (And remember that hot liquids expand, so never fill the blender more than a third.) This amount of stock should yield a somewhat thick soup, and you will likely need to add a little additional water or stock as you blend, until the soup reaches your desired consistency. As you finish pureeing each batch, pour the soup through the strainer into the pot, stirring and scraping as needed with a rubber spatula to push the puree through the mesh.

When the soup is entirely pureed, stir in the cream. Rewarm gently over low heat. Taste for salt, and serve hot.

Yield: I can’t remember exactly, but I would guess 6 servings

Recipe

Cream Biscuits

Adapted from The Breakfast Book, by Marion Cunningham

These are terrific with jam or, of course, honey.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. table salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1 to 1 ½ cups heavy cream
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (If you don’t have parchment, leave it as it is, ungreased. The parchment is just for easy cleanup.)

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a mixing bowl, and stir with a fork to blend. Slowly add 1 cup of the cream, stirring. Gather the dough together gently: when it holds together and feels tender, it’s ready to knead. If it feels shaggy and pieces are dry, slowly add enough cream to make the dough hold together.

Place the dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute. (You don’t want to overwork it.) Pat the dough into a square about ½ inch thick. Cut into 12 squares. Brush each with melted butter so that all sides are coated. Place the biscuits 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve hot.

Yield: 12 biscuits