Parsnip and Roasted Mushroom Soup

I have to hand it to our son, he had his wisdom teeth removed yesterday and he did really well. Me?  Didn’t sleep the night before.  It’s so much easier when stuff is done to you rather than your kids.  Now he gets to hear his parents telling him to eat his ice cream.  Think he’ll be ok.  😊

Woke up being very happy for fuzzy socks with freezing temperatures and gusting winds.  Definitely soup season!  On one of our date nights, my husband ordered an amazing mushroom soup and it sparked an idea for a mushroom and parsnip soup.  Their soup just had mushrooms in it with Gorgonzola cheese.  Well I shouldn’t say just as it was delicious.  But I went off on a tangent.  


As luck would have it, the co-op had a great selection of mushrooms.  Including a Japanese mushroom called maitake.  Slice up the mushrooms and toss them in olive oil.


Roast them at 350F/175C until they are nicely browned.  In the meantime, peel and dice 1 to 2 parsnips depending on the size.  Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves.  Sauté the parsnips and garlic with olive oil in a saucepan.


Add a amall handful of fresh thyme, sauté for another minute or so.  Add about three cups of chicken stock and half a cup of dry sherry.  Bring to a medium simmer.  Once the mushrooms are roasted, add them to the soup.


Season with sea salt and pepper.  Cook until the parsnips are soft and the broth has reduced about a quarter.  Remove from the heat and purée until reasonably smooth.


Top with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of chive.  This could easily be made vegan with a veg broth.  The parsnip makes it very creamy so I didn’t have to add any cream.  

Roast Chicken with Bacon and Leeks and Teaching the Boy to Cook

I have wicked spring fever!  It looks like winter is leaving early this year.  Obviously this could change but I am really hoping it doesn’t.  It is so beautiful out.  And it so nice to be out of the windowless office.

A few weeks ago my son mentioned he wanted to cook dinner for us so we had him go through our cookery books to see what he would like to try out.  He found a recipe for roast chicken that had a bacon stuffing with seaweed.  With the exception of me, no one else would want seaweed and I don’t like roasting birds stuffed.  So we brain stormed and came up with our own recipe.  We finally had time to do it last night and it was a lot of fun to cook with him.

Roast chicken with bacon and leek 1 2016

Preheat the oven to 325F/150C.  Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan.  Add water and a bit of sherry to the pan.  Coat the chicken with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.  This chicken was just under 4lbs so we cooked it for an hour and a half.

Roast chicken with bacon and leek 2 2016

Cut up 4 rashers of streaky bacon and render it into the skillet.  While I was doing this my son was working on his knife skills getting the mushrooms and leeks ready.  He’s 11 so I handled the raw meat and he took care of everything else.  I was impressed with how he did.  🙂

Roast chicken with bacon and leek 3 2016

Drain excess bacon fat then add the leeks and mushrooms to the skillet.  Saute until the leeks have softened then add about a cup to a cup and a half of chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Add a couple of tablespoons of cognac and about the same amount of stone ground mustard.  Stir well to blend and simmer to reduce by a third or so.

Roast chicken with bacon and leek 4 2016

I had my son taste test to see if it was balanced.  I have to say he has a really good palette.  So I had him adjust the flavours as needed.  He did really well with that!

Roast chicken with bacon and leek 5 2016

Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before carving.  We served it with roast potatoes and parsnips.

I really enjoyed spending one on one time with him doing this meal.  He’s a neat kid.  🙂

Lamb and Parsnip Curry

After leaving the warmth of Texas I needed to make a warming dish.  We could see snow this week, hopefully it’s just a dusting.  With a prediction of another harsh winter, it can take its time arriving.  I wish autumn didn’t go by so fast.

A curry would do the trick. Not only did the co-op have some lamb they also had some parsnips which I thought would be a nice pairing.

Lamb curry 1 2014

I chopped up half an onion and 4 cloves of garlic.  I sauteed them in avocado oil for a few minutes to soften then added about a cup of chopped parsnip.  Cook for a few minutes more.

Lamb curry 2 2014

Add diced lamb to brown.  Then add 2 cups of vegetable bouillon and bring to a simmer.  Be careful how “hard” you simmer because you don’t want to toughen the meat.  It can be a balance depending on how much time you left yourself to cook the dinner.  Reduce the broth by at least a third.

Lamb curry 3 2014

For seasoning I added a few spoonfuls of Red Thai Chilli Paste, 1-2 tsp of ground tumeric, 1 tsp of garam masala, a bit of cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add some chopped pepper, mushrooms, and fresh cilantro.  Just as it finishes cooking add a few grape tomatoes that have been halved.  Stir well and serve over basmati rice.

Lamb curry 4 2014

It was warming and delicious, just what we needed with the temps getting lower and lower!

Roasted Mushroom and Parsnip Soup

The gluten free experiment is going well.  I’m starting to feel better with a few bumps along the way but I figure that is normal.  I am discovering there are some missed opportunities  when searching out gluten free snacks and the like.  It is not a guarantee that you will get something that tastes good.  I tried a breakfast wrap at a local bagel place and the gluten free wrap could be best described as wet cardboard.  Some of the tortilla chips aren’t much better.  I tried one type of cracker that said right on the box how important taste was.  My husband said I made quite the face trying to eat those!

I have found a couple of things I like and fortunately we’re having success at home.  Otherwise I’d starve or at the very least be very cranky.  And that just won’t do!

With the cooler weather settling in I was in the mood for a quick soup with a lot of flavour.  Roasted mushrooms and parsnips fit the bill.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip soup 1 2014

Slice up mushrooms of your choice and a few parsnips, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in an oven at 350F/175C until parsnips are cooked and golden.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip soup 2 2014

Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add 3-5 cloves of garlic chopped and some fresh thyme.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip soup 3 2014

Once the garlic has softened add the mushrooms and parsnips.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip 4 2014

As I was only making this for two I added 2 cups of veg bouillon and 1/2 cup of dry white wine.  Bring to a simmer.  Add salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip soup 5 2014

Of course if you aren’t doing gluten free then cheesy toast would be perfect with this.  🙂

 

Warming Parsnip Curry Soup

It’s been a wonderful weekend.  The sun has been shining and the temps above freezing.  What a treat!  Even though it’s not our week for the kids we had to help our son get supplies for a water project he has to do for school.  His experiment has to do with hydroponics which we are very curious about.  It gave us a chance to take him to lunch and hang out with him a bit.

I like being able to do one on one with the kids.  Gives them a chance to natter on about whatever they would like and get our full attention.  After we dropped him off we puttered about downtown.  Loads of people were about enjoying the good weather.  It was good for the shops as well.  It’s hard on Main St with the cold weather.  I did more research on tablets and decided on an ipad.  It was my early birthday present and I love it.  And there is a solution to getting my photos off of my slr onto the ipad when I travel.  Now I just need to find the photo editing apps and I’m good to go!  Last night was topped off by seeing a show of Dueling Pianos where they took requests for songs.  Like I said it’s been a fabulous weekend.  🙂

We had the kids for supper on Thursday and with it still being chilly I made parsnip curry soup.  My husband has made this soup several times and it’s wonderfully warming when you are sick.  I thought it would give it a try.  A very simple quick soup full of flavour.  We got the recipe of American’s Best Recipes.  I did change it a bit.

Parsnip curry soup 1 2014

Peel and dice a pound of parsnips.  Do this first as this takes a bit of time.  Set aside.  Chop half a red onion and coarsely chop a couple of garlic.  In a saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter.  Cook the onion until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Parsnip curry soup 2 2014

Add about 2 tsps of cilantro and 2 tsp of cumin.  Stir well then add the parsnips to coat and cook for a few minutes more.  Add two heaping spoonfuls of the curry paste of your choice.  Here you can make it as spicy or mild as you would like.

Parsnip curry soup 3 2014 Parsnip curry soup 4 2014

Add two cups of chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the parsnips are cooked and softened.

Parsnip curry 5 2014

Add 2 cups of milk, 2 spoonfuls of sour cream, and a few squirts of lemon juice.

Parsnip curry soup 7 2014

Remove from the heat and blend the soup.  We use the immersion blender and we are ok with it not being 100% smooth but blend to the smoothness you like.

Parsnip curry soup 6 2014

Heat through and it is ready to serve.  Add a dollop of sour cream and a bit of chive.

Parsnip curry soup 8 2014

It was enjoyed by all and having fresh bread and butter with it didn’t hurt.  🙂

Now off to play with my new tablet and finish setting it up.  I’m such a geek when it comes to gadgets and tech stuff.  Just wish I knew more about it!

Braised Chicken Thighs with Parsnips

I was in the mood to cook!  Why?  The blasted cold is just about gone.  Now it’s down to a mild cold where I can function somewhat.  What a nutty start to the year.  It’s just as well it’s on its way out as tax season has begun and I don’t have time now to be sick.  While the kids and my husband were playing Monopoly I was scouring our cookbooks to find a dish that would let me use up a few ingredients but do something different.  Plus I was in the mood for a bit of red wine so I had to make something that would accompany the wine.

I had chicken thighs to use up and some parsnips in the veg bin.  I found a recipe in Scott Conant’s book “New Italian Cooking” that gave me inspiration.  As I didn’t have dry white wine, mint, or a tomato I had to create my own dish but I was heavily influenced by his recipe. This is a very easy dish to make but there is time involved as it needs to bake for about 50 minutes.

I took loads of photos for this and my camera has come up with another issue.  At least 12 photos aren’t on the camera at all!  So the first few steps are missing the photos.  Time I think to get it into the local camera shop to find out what is going on.  I love this camera and use it all the time.  I may have to resort to my iPhone for a bit which is passable but not what I want to use!

Pre-heat the oven to 325F/160C

The chicken thighs we had are boneless and skinless.  In a skillet heat up a couple of T of olive oil and brown both sides of the thighs.  Place in a baking dish.  In the skillet add about 1/2 cup of marsala wine and reduce by half.  Scrap the skillet to incorporate the browned bits of the chicken.  While it is reducing dice parsnips, coarsely chop about 3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly slice half a red onion, and finely chop a bunch of rosemary.  Pour the wine reduction over the chicken.  Add more olive oil to the skillet and cook the parsnips until they start browning.

Braised chicken with parsnip 1 2014

Add in the rosemary and onion.  Cook until the onion starts to soften then add in the garlic.

Braised chicken with parsnip 2 2014

Add a spoonful of tomato paste and about 4 cups of chicken or turkey stock.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Braised chicken 3 2014

Pour over the chicken thighs.  Ideally this should only cover the chicken half way up.  Bake for about 50 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Braised chicken 4 2014

Serve with sides of your choice.  I served this with roast potatoes because I can’t get enough of those.

Braised chicken 5 2014

The marsala wine is wonderful with parsnips.  I’ll have to come up with more dishes with those two ingredients.  And it was great with the red wine.  😉

Roasted Mushroom and Parsnip Ravioli

It is spring break from school this week for the kids and I set up yesterday to be a bake day for them as they like to get into the kitchen.  While they were making cookies and congo bars I thought I’d make raviolis for dinner.  I hadn’t made them in awhile as it is somewhat time consuming.  Question was, what to make?  I knew I wanted mushrooms but wasn’t sure what else to do.  As my gaze wandered round the kitchen I saw the parsnips my husband pulled from the garden.  This is a great treat as we planted them last year.  So I decided to do a roasted mushroom and parsnip mixture.  I was really pleased with the results!

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 1 2013

I bought oyster, baby bellas, and shiitake mushrooms.  I coarsely chopped them along with the parsnips and tossed them with olive oil and salt and pepper.

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 2 2013

These were roasted at 400 F/204C stirring occasionally as they roasted.  About halfway through I added some fresh thyme.

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 3 2013

Once they had browned nicely I set the veg aside to cool completely.  While this was cooling I prepped the pasta to rest.  Once the mixture cooled I put it into the food processor and grated some Jarlsberg cheese.  It was about 1/2 cup of cheese.  I also added a couple of splashes of dry sherry.

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 4 2013

I pulsed the processor until it was a coarse mixture.

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 5 2013

Now I haven’t gotten round to getting ravioli molds yet so I am still doing this by hand.  Well I do have a Kitchen Aid to roll it out so we’re halfway there.  🙂  I roll out a sheet at a time and fill as I go.  All that is needed for the filling is about a teaspoon of mixture then brush a beaten egg round the mixture to help seal the pasta.

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 6 2013

It is important to get the air out! Though that isn’t always easy but you could end up with burst balloons if there is too much air.

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 7 2013

Before I cooked the ravioli I sauteed up some garlic and mushrooms and prepared this cream and butter sauce to complete the dish.  The ravioli only needs to cook for about 4 minutes in boiling salted water.

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 8 2013

Drain and toss in the sauce and serve.

roasted mushroom and parsnip ravioli 9 2013

It had a lovely earthy flavour and it was great on a cool night.

Roast Vegetables

The last bit that I did for the Sunday Roast was to do up some roast veg.  I have to apologise about the photos.  I have an excellent camera and lately I must be rushing and so some photos have been coming out a bit blurry.  As in this post.  I need to slow down!

We grow a wide variety of veg in our garden.  For this dish we have parsnips, white carrots, red carrots, and Brussels Sprouts.  As we had our first frost already it was perfect timing for this dish.

I roasted these in the same oven as the roast beef.  I put a pan with olive oil into the oven to heat the oil.  I then peeled the parsnips and carrots and chopped them into small chunks.  I cut the Brussels Sprouts in half.  Toss the parsnips and carrots in the olive oil and pop into the oven.

When the veg is about halfway done I then added the Brussels Sprouts.  Roast until cooked.  My husband and I had a discussion afterwards about whether it would be better to boil or microwave the veg a bit beforehand so they roast more evenly.  I will be trying that next time.

I pour a bit of gravy over the veg to serve.  Again the gravy is the same as with the Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding.  To round out the meal I also served roast potatoes.