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What's Cooking: Parsnip and Vanilla Soup

SAIT's culinary program instructor Michael Allemeier shares his recipe for Parsnip and Vanilla Soup.
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Parsnip and Vanilla Soup Chef Michael Allemeier Parsnips are wonderful winter vegetables and Alberta does a great job of growing them. They are best after a frost as that makes them sweeter in flavour. I discovered vanilla is a wonder flavour that works well in this savoury application. The secret is to slowly sweat off the parsnips to bring out the natural sweetness. Yield 6-8 portions 60ml butter 1 medium onion - peeled and diced 1 leek - just the white - diced and washed 1 clove garlic - sliced 3pc parsnips - peeled and diced 1.75L chicken or vegetable stock 1 vanilla bean 125ml whipping cream (optional) 30ml fresh lemon juice salt to taste Method - Heat a pot over medium heat, then add the butter. - Once the butter is melted add the onion, leek and garlic - slowly sweat off until tender and soft but not browned. - Once the onions are tender add the parsnips and continue to cook, stirring often. - After about 5 minutes add the stock and bring to a simmer. - Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the black seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the simmering soup. - Simmer for 30 minutes until parsnips are tender. - If adding the cream add now and simmer for 5 minutes. - Remove the vanilla pods and discard. - Add the lemon juice. - Puree the soup well and season. - Enjoy!

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