Fiftieth Soup: Parsnip and Apple

Parsnip and Apple Soup

I was determined to have completed fifty recipes from The Soup Book by the end of this month. In making today's choice I noticed I hadn't made a soup from the winter vegetable section of the book for some time, so thought I had better re-visit that section.  The recipe for parsnip and apple soup is on page 170 and coincidentally I made the recipe on the opposite page, Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potato Soup, exactly a year ago. Written by Marie-Pierre Moine, the recipe lists the following ingredients: onion, garlic, mild curry powder (I don't keep such a thing in the house so made up my own concoction), parsnips, a Bramley apple, vegetable or chicken stock, cream and lemon juice. I am not a fan of parsnips (see my blog of 4th September 2010), but the spouse loves them and the offspring are not immune to their charms.

It took me longer than expected to cook the soup (Moine's times are twenty minutes for the preparation work and thirty for cooking). What slowed me down was the sieving stage. Well, it didn't help that I was doing some on-line social networking and phone calls.  I find that I usually need more time than indicated in any recipe, not just those in The Soup Book, and judging from conversations with friends, I'm not alone in this.

The family eventually sat down for lunch at around 2pm. I was the last to sit down and the older offspring was warning me before I took my seat that I wouldn't like the soup because it tasted strongly of parsnip. I did quite like it. Fortunately for me, the apple and spices dissipated the taste of parsnip!

Top Soups 

I started this blog on the 28th December 2009 and my objectives then were to work my way through The Soup Book, making at least one soup a month. As I noted in my blog of 5th December 2010, there are 199 soup recipes in the book, so at the rate of one soup a month it would take about eighteen years to get through the book. At some stage I must have decided to speed up, but even at the rate of fifty soups every fourteen months, it will still take me about four years to finish this project.

For anyone interested in the finer details of my progress, here are the statistics:
  • Summer vegetable soups - 58 (12 made)
  • Winter vegetable soups - 45 (11 made)
  • Pulses and nuts soups - 23 (5 made)
  • Fish and shellfish soups - 32 (7 made) 
  • Poultry, game and meat soups - 31 (12 made) 
  • Fruit soups - 6 (0 made)
  • Cheese soups - 4 (3 made)
Of those soups my personal favourites include:
  • Cabbage, tomato and meatball
  • Creamy smoked mackerel 
  • Avocado and rocket
  • Hungarian goulash
  • Emmental and beer
  • Crab bisque
  • Pear and Stilton
  • Spiced lamb broth. 

Where the Bee Sucks, There Lurk I 

During the course of my soup-making project, I have recorded items relating to bees and honey, mainly references to them in the books I have read.  Had it not been for this blog, I doubt that I would ever have gone on a bee-keeping course at Irish Seed Savers. Nor would I have noticed that writers use the word "honey" to refer to a colour, but do so in a rather lazy way as honey comes in different shades of brown or yellow. I probably wouldn't have paid any further attention to the County Dublin Beekeepers' Association other than to promise myself to attend the annual honey show. Similarly, I would have overlooked these items in yesterday's Irish Times Magazine:
Friend of the birds and bees? (This is an item about a seminar on wildlife-friendly gardening at the National Botanic Gardens on the 5th March) and
A spoonful of honey (an item about a German-Irish couple who are selling tea and honey).

In preparation for this week's blog, I came across a poem by Sara Teasdale, a reclusive American poet. I don't want to be prosecuted for breach of copyright so I'll quote a couple of lines (you can find the complete verses at the link in the title below).

If I were a bee and you were a rose, 
Would you let me in when the grey wind blows? 
I also came across this quote from the Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius (121-180):
 "That which is not good for the swarm, neither is it good for the bee" (Meditations, bk. 6, sct. 54).


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