Fortifying soups to warm you on those grey, grey winter days.  Hearty winter vegetables shine in this category.  The sweet young roots from the farmers market are delicious prepared simply with garlic and shallot.  The addition of varying spices adds depth and complexity.

I prefer light silky soups.  The proportion of stock:veg depends entirely on the amount and kind of veg.  Potatoes, for example, take more liquid than carrots to achieve the desired velvety results.

Today there are parsnips ready to be pureed.  They were first roasted in the oven to caramelize slightly.  The batons are then sautéed with garlic, shallot, and coriander.  Once soft the items are transferred to the blender to be combined with warmed stock.  For the final touch the puree is strained back into a pot.  The final adjustments to seasoning and texture are now made as the soup warms for service.

Garnish with a dusting of minced rosemary, a crumble of sweet Gorgonzola, or a grate of aged cheddar.  The meal would pair well with the white wines from Alsace or lighter reds such as a Gamay, Poulsard, or Touraine rouge.


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