Friday, April 10, 2009

Never fear too much parsley again

I grow parsley in the garden every year, and always end up with too much. This year I found a wonderful recipe for parsley soup on The Vegetarian Epicure website. We've got both Vegetarian Epicure cookbooks, but there's lots more stuff on line as well.

Generally, I tend not to get "fresh" vegetables from the grocery store in winter, mostly because the concept of fresh is stretched a little too thin for me. I assume grocery store vegetable aisle offerings were fresh at some remote point in time and on some remote part of the planet, but I'd just as soon buy the preserved/frozen ones as contribute to the conniptions that Big Ag goes through to fool me into buying out-of-season as though it's legitimately fresh.

Anyway, relented on this and bought a big bunch of parsley--some italian and some curly-- to make this soup tonight. I'll serve it with a quiche, also a Vegetarian Epicure recipe.

Parsley Soup

Use one of the tasty, creamy-textured varieties of potato for this soup, such as Yukon Gold, or any of the fingerling potatoes that are becoming more commonly available. And be sure to get flat-leaf parsley, also known as Italian parsley, which has a stronger flavor than the curly parsley used for

About 1 lb. potatoes - fingerlings or Yukon Gold
3 bunches flat-leaf parsley (4 cups chopped)
3 leeks, white only (3 cups chopped)
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
salt to taste

4-5 cups vegetable broth
white pepper
1/2 cup white wine
2-3 tsp. lemon juice
Parmesan cheese

Scrub the potatoes and chop them. Put them in a soup pot with about a quart of water and half a teaspoon salt, and boil them. Meanwhile, rinse and chop the parsley (stems are OK), and wash and slice the leeks.

Saute the chopped parsley in a large non-stick pan, in a tablespoon of butter, tossing and stirring it until it is sizzling and beginning to color. Add the parsley to the potatoes.

In the same pan, sauté the leeks in the remaining butter and oil until they are soft and turning gold. Add them to the soup, alo ng with 4 or 5 cups of light vegetable broth, a generous sprinkle of white pepper, a big pinch of nutmeg, and half a cup of white wine. Simmer everything together for about half an hour, then puree it in the blender in batches.

Return the pureed soup to the pot, bring it to a simmer, and taste. Keep tasting as you stir in a bit of fresh lemon juice, and correct the seasoning with more salt and pepper as needed.

Serve the soup hot, garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves eight.