When it comes to winter, overindulgence seems to be the name of the game. The cold and dreary weather implores us to stay inside and stay warm by the fireplace…with eggnog and pie. We venture out for the family gatherings, the festive parties, and the football games. There we snack on chips, cookies, cake and more pie. And our cold-weather fashion makes us forget about all that overeating. Big puffy coats and oversized sweaters work miracles, at least on the outside.
Feeling like you want to hit the reset button? The comfort and richness we desire in winter foods doesn’t have to leave us hiding under three layers of clothes. Take this filling and full-flavored parsnip and fennel soup. Earthy and sweet, parsnips create a wholesome and creamy base for aromatic fennel and coriander. This soup is perfect as a first course, but when paired with a whole wheat crusty bread, substantial enough for a main entree. It’s great any day of the week, especially the day after eating too much pie.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 shallot bulbs, thinly sliced
- 1 bulb fennel, cut in thick slices
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut in thick slices
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 cup white wine
- About 5 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a medium high flame.
- Add the shallots, fennel and thyme and stir occasionally for several minutes until the vegetables are lightly caramelized.
- Add the parsnips and coriander. Season well with salt and pepper and cook uncovered for two minutes.
- Add the white wine, and boil until it cooks off, then add 4 1/2 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat.
- Cover and let the vegetables cook until they are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Puree the soup in batches in a blender until it is velvety smooth.
- The soup will thicken slightly as it stands. If it is too thick, thin with additional water.
- Garnish with a pinch of ground coriander.