Posted by: A Part of the Solution | April 19, 2010

Parsnips and Leeks, oh my!

My old buddy, Ed Mueller, came by yesterday afternoon to check out the farm. He’s lived up this way since before the Maryland panhandle became unaffordable. Ed is a man of many parts. He runs a natural foods distributorship. He owns a natural foods store. He gardens and caretakes for a huge piece of land. He’s starting a training program to get people from urban areas linked into rural cycles and operations. He’s looking to wholesale wholesome products made at the micro scale, from a commercial kitchen he’s having finished.

I mentioned that Ed gardens. He also makes a point of trying to grow enough that he can live off what he produces, produce-wise. He hasn’t bought vegetables since last year. And when he came up yesterday, he brought me a fine collection of parsnips and leeks from his garden which had wintered over successfully.

So I made parsnip and leek soup. And boy, oh boy, was it tasty. Even if you don’t think you like parsnips, you’re likely to like this soup.

Leek and Roasted Parsnip Soup

2 1/2 lbs. parsnips

6 Tbsp olive oil, divided

2 fat leeks, white parts and green

1 bag stock fixin’s from the freezer (see Taking Stock)

1 onion

1 bulb garlic

6 button mushrooms

1 carrot

1 stalk celery, leafy top especially

1 bay leaf

1 allspice berry

2 cups of milk

salt, pepper, nutmeg

1 tsp summer savory

Preheat the oven to 375°. Peel the parsnips. Slice the pasnips 1/2 centimeter thick the long ways. Lightly coat the parsnip slices with olive oil. Place them tightly on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven for 35-45 minutes. Meanwhile, start a pot of vegetable stock cooking, cover with water heat on medium and reduce to low for forty minutes: leek greens, stock fixings, and the seven ingredients after stock fixings.

Slice the white parts of the leeks fine. Cook them in two tablespoons of the olive oil on low, covered while the stock is simmering. Turn the parsnips, and cook them on their other side an additional twenty to twenty-five minutes. When they’re steaked with brown on both sides and easily pierced with a fork, put them and the leeks into a food processor and grind them to muck, adding ladles of stock to loosen the mixture.

Over a large pot put a sturdy seive. Push the leek and parsnip mixture through the seive, using additional stock to loosen it further. Do this in batches until you have a smooth pile of glop in your soup pot. Add the rest of the stock, two cups of milk, salt and pepper to taste and as much freshly grated nutmeg as makes your heart replete. Heat this gently, stirring frequently, until it steams appealingly.  Serve immediately with crusty bread, or corn muffins on the side.



  1. […] Ed grows just about ALL his own veggies these days. I love having Ed over. The last time, I made a Leek and Parsnip Soup for dinner that rocked. And I made it with the leeks and parsnips he brought with […]

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