RECIPE. Feb 1, 2011

A Pot of Vegetables

While I don’t necessarily have all the time in the world to be spending in the kitchen lately, I savor the time I do get and spend lavishly. One of my favorite kitchen activities is actually not the cooking of products but the chopping, measuring and prepping. It’s part of the reason I absolutely adore soups. The very simple task of dicing, cubing, slicing and chopping is my personal form of meditation. My thoughts are whisked away by the beat of the knife thudding over and over again on the cutting board as it slices through each item and hits bottom. I become personally tickled when measuring spices, the colors brightening my mood in this dull grey weather.

I also love to learn about new produce and ways of pairing tastes like chipotle in brownies or nutmeg in a savory dish. While I become easily overwhelmed at the task of taking on too many new projects or products, I feel confident in tackling just one new skill or item at a time.

Thus, I learned a little about parsnips, frankly, I learned what they are and that they taste incredibly delicious. The foundation of the soup was familiar to me, the parsnip was the only new produce item. It tasted similar to a potato and got me thinking about the possibility of parsnip fries. Curious if others have good uses for parsnips that I’m not aware of.

Melt ghee or olive oil in 4 quart pot on medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add all spices and saute a few minutes more.

Add potatoes, parsnip, celery, carrot, lentils and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 50-60 minutes.

When lentils are creamy, stir in salt. Serve stew garnished with yogurt or dairy alternative or nothing at all. I used tofutti cream cheese….I know sounds gross but it made the soup creamy.