Parsnip And Pear Soup With Crispy Sage And Brown Butter

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The humble parsnip, in all its creamy-white glory, benefits immensely from being cooked with something naturally sweet. I think of parsnips roasted with honey, yes please! Parsnips grated and baked into a cake, sure why not? Even this parsnip soup benefits from a little sweet kick.

This addition of a natural sweetener to parsnips makes perfect sense to me. Apparently if parsnips are picked before they receive a night or two of a cold frost the natural sugars don’t develop properly and then the parsnips lack the sweetness they deserve. I can only assume the parsnips I bought fell to this fate. But that’s where a little kitchen intuition and a piece of fruit – in this case pear – can come to the rescue.

Now! Enter the burnt butter with crispy sage.

Are you familiar with that moment when fresh sage hits foaming butter in a hot pan and it begins to froth and splatter, the sage crisping in front of your eyes? Or when the butter begins to turn to a shade of golden nuttiness and you just know it’s time to add a squeeze of lemon juice? Sigh! I love those moments. They don’t happen too often in my kitchen but for this soup it was the crowning glory, the finishing touch, the necessary addition. I imagine you’ll think so too.

 

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Parsnip and pear soup with sage and brown butter

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 sticks celery, diced

2 tbsp chopped fresh sage

600g parsnips, peeled and sliced into rounds

1/2 cup white wine

1 large pear, peeled and cut into large pieces

1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup Greek style yoghurt

For the burnt sage butter

75g salted butter

handful of picked fresh sage leaves

squeeze lemon juice

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan; add the onion, garlic, celery, parsnip and chopped sage, season with salt and pepper and cook gently for 5 minutes.

Turn the heat up, add the white wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped pear and chicken stock, bring to the boil then cook on a medium heat for 25 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat, add the yoghurt and blitz the soup with a stick blender or food processor till smooth. Check the seasoning.

For the burnt butter, place a fry pan on a high heat, once heated add the diced butter, swirl the pan. As the butter melts and starts to froth throw in the sage leaves, swirl the pan as they crisp. Right at the moment the butter looks like it can’t froth any more, and before it turns too dark, remove the pan from the heat, squeeze in the lemon juice and swirl a final time.

Ladle the parsnip soup into 4 bowls and drizzle the crispy sage and burnt butter over the top.

 

10 Comments Add yours

  1. chefjulianna says:

    So delicious! I have mountains of sage growing, so I really want to make this!

    1. Great, this is perfect for using up that excess sage. Our sage finally grew well this year and I’ve loved picking it fresh from the garden.

  2. ladyredspecs says:

    I’m a huge parsnip fan, cooked ant which way. Love the idea of teaming them with pears. Thanks Michelle, I’ll try this recipe soon

    1. And while they’re in season hey Sandra…

  3. Yes to crispy sage in butter. It’s a match made in heaven 🙂

  4. Seriously…crispy sage butter is just one of the most amazing things (I always add lots of garlic to it and serve it on pumpkin ravioli or a potato soup). Your parsnip soup sounds absolutely divine!!! 😍

    1. Yes, yes, yes to spooning it over ravioli and gnocchi. And oh my,dipping fresh baguette in brown butter with those crispy sage bits… sigh!

      1. Uffff….that sounds too good to be true! 😉

  5. This looks so simple and delicious. I’ve never made crispy sage but certainly will now ☺️

  6. annika says:

    Thank you for sharing a new way to use sage. My plant is thriving this summer. The more I cut it back, the more it grows! Your photos are beautiful.

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