RECIPE AND PHOTO BY LISA MASE
For those who planted them last fall, parsnips are one of the first root crops to dig out of the garden. If you do not have your own, ask a local farmer when the fresh crop will be available.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced vertically into ¼-inch crescents
4 tablespoons white wine (if desired)
4–5 large parsnips, ends cut off and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 teaspoon each dried thyme, coriander and nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
A few grinds fresh black pepper
7 cups water
- Pour olive oil into a stockpot and heat on medium high. Add onion, reduce heat to simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the wine (if using). Then add the parsnips, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Add the water, stir to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the parsnips are tender—about 30 minutes.
- Mash the parsnips into the broth using a hard spatula, immersion blender or potato masher. Taste for salt. Garnish with fresh, chopped scallions or fresh, minced parsley and savor each velvety bite.
Parsnips: parsley family members that provide folate, fiber and phenolic acids, which may help reduce production of cancerous cells. They contain ample amounts of soluble fiber, which moderates fat and cholesterol absorption in the intestines while diluting bile acids to prevent reflux.
Thyme: contains thymol, an antimicrobial volatile oil that can help prevent colds; rich in flavonoids whose antioxidant activity keeps blood pH in balance.