Do you have a garden? If not, do you have a friend or neighbor that has a garden? Is there a community garden near you or a space on the roof? It is now December and time to start thinking about next year’s garden. It is a fairly widely held belief that better health and nutrition can start with participating in growing your own food. It’s very hard to grow pop tarts and twinkies after all; the good food that is good for you comes whole from the ground. For Christmas I suggest that you give yourself a garden. Or better yet, give one to a loved one. Buy some gloves, a set of hand tools, a book or two and maybe even a little planter full of herbs. Often all it takes is a little nudge.
Parsnips, like many root vegetables, are in season. They have an amazingly sweet and interesting taste. Combined with the heartiness of the potatoes this makes a wonderful wintertime lunch or dinner. Add a grilled cheese or a big hunk of rustic bread and you are set.
- 4 Parsnips, peeled
- 3 White or Golden Potatoes, peeled (optionally)
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Salt and Pepper
- 2-3 Sprigs Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon Brandy (optional)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Large Pot
- Chef’s Knife
- Stick Blender, Blender or Food Processor (optional)
- Peel and chop the potatoes and parsnips.
- Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.
- Add the parsnips and potatoes.
- Add a little salt and pepper.
- Cover with broth and water. If you want to make this vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth.
- Toss in the thyme and any other fresh herbs that you might like.
- Simmer for about an hour, until the potatoes and parsnips are fork soft.
- Remove herb sprigs, stir in brandy and balsamic vinegar.
- Turn off heat and blend until smooth and creamy.