Tips for Rookie Cooks

Soup. the third part

Parsnip and Apple Soup

Earthy parsnips and sweet apples combine to make a perfectly sublime soup. The vegetables and apples can all be coarsely chopped since they’ll be puréed in the end anyway, making preparation a breeze!

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large apples (any type), peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼–½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Homemade Croutons (regular, or the blue cheese variation) (page 163) or Parmesan Lace (page 161) for garnish.

In a stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until butter is melted and bubbling. Add the parsnips, apples, potatoes, shallots, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the parsnips and potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a countertop blender or food processor), purée the soup until smooth. Stir in cream, taste, and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot, garnished with croutons or lace.

Make it ahead

The soup can be made a couple of days ahead up to and including the puréeing. Store, covered, Before serving, reheat over medium heat and stir in the cream.

Cod and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Aioli

Partnered with hot, crusty bread, this light yet satisfying soup is a complete meal in a bowl.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1/ 8–½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¼–½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth or fish stock
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
  • minced flat leaf parsley, for garnish

In a stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add onion and half of the garlic and stir until onions are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, bay leaves, tomatoes, wine, broth or stock, tomato paste, and chickpeas, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Add fish and continue to simmer until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes. While fish is cooking, make the garlic aioli. Combine the mayonnaise with the remaining garlic and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl, stirring to mix well. Set aside. Stir oregano into soup, taste, and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Ladle soup into bowls and top each with a dollop of garlic aioli and a sprinkling of parsley. Serve immediately.

Make it ahead

  • The soup can be made a couple of days ahead up to and including the 30 minutes of simmering (but without adding the chickpeas) and stored, covered, in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve it, heat it back up to a simmer on the stove, add chickpeas and fish, and follow the rest of the instructions.

Serve it with

  • Lots of crusty bread for dunking and a crisp green salad

Change it up

  • Substitute another meaty white fish, such as halibut or snapper, or a mixture of seafood, such as clams,
  • shrimp, squid , and crab.

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