Surprising Foods: Root Vegetables

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Chef Amy Sherman from Family Fare shows how parsnips and turnips and more can add to your meals.

Amy Sherman’s Parsnip Soup

For the soup:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups slivered onions
  • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped (or a mix of root veggies)
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • squeeze of lemon

In a soup pot, heat up the olive oil and add the onions.  Cook, stirring, until brown.  Add the parsnips and continue to cook, for another 5-8 minutes.  Add the stock, salt and pepper to taste.  Add more stock or water, just enough to make sure the veggies are covered. Simmer the soup until t he parsnips are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add the cream.  Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth, season with more salt and pepper if needed.  Add a little lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

For the topping:

  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon  honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup malty beer, or a pumpkin ale

Heat a skillet over medium heat. and cook the bacon until crisp.  Drain off most of the fat.  Add the onion and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat, and season with salt and pepper, and add the spices and honey.   Cook for a few minutes, then deglaze with the beer.  Cook until the onions are soft and sweet, about 15 minutes.  Serve the soup topped with the confit.

Amy Sherman’s Roasted Beet Salad
To roast beets:
about 2# red beets (3-4 large)
about 2# yellow beets (3-4 large)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Wrap the red beets in foil, and the yellow beets in foil and place both packages on a sheet tray in the oven.  Roast until tender.  This can take between one hour to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the beets.  Let the beets cool.  When cool enough to handle, slip of the skins and discard.  Separately cut the beets into a large dice and put in separate bowls.  This can be done the day before, just store the beets in the fridge until ready to use.

For the salad:

  • 4 cups lettuce
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3 TBLS rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBLS dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp coriander, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin oil (or pistachio oil if you’ve got it)
  • salt and pepper

To make the salad dressing, combine the shallot with the vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the mustard, coriander,and then whisk in the oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pour a few tablespoons over each bowl of beets and stir well.  Toss the greens with some of the dressing.  Top with the beets, crumble the goat cheese, and sprinkle the nuts over the top.  Drizzle more viniagrette over the salad, if you would like.

Amy Sherman’s Roasted Root Vegetables

  • assorted root vegetables, peeled
  • olive oil
  • fresh herbs
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut the vegetables in to similar size pieces.  I always roast beets separately so they don’t die everything red.  Toss the vegetables in a bowl with olive oil, lots of fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, and lots of salt and pepper.  Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet, into one layer, making sure the veggies aren’t too crowded.  If they are, use two sheets.  Roast until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes depending on the size you cut them.   Scrape up the veggies and turn over one time during cooking.

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