Okay, let’s start with some good news!
I’ve been exercising again now for almost two weeks. Every day and I feel great. Thanksgiving was the final straw as I ate almost half of a pumpkin pie, in one night, and a fair amount of my pumpkin cheesecake, same night. Sitting there, or better yet laying there I was thinking about how lousy I felt and that I couldn’t let the first seven months of the year go to waste. So I’m back at it.
As for cooking, well…I haven’t had a ton of time, but I did make this parsnip soup not long ago and I loved it. In fact we made a modified version for the restaurant this week. I fell in love with parsnips a few weeks back when I made them with the pot roast. I ran across this recipe in Delicious, which is a Australian magazine and though pricey, I really like the recipes and the photography. I’ve been picking it up at Barnes and Noble since it cost something like $100 for a subscription…they have to mail it from down under.
As for my time, well we have been super busy at the restaurant. We’ve been working six days a week, 11 to 12 hours per day. The economic downturn has affected us a bit, but we are still up over 12% from last year which was up 40% over the year before so I think we are doing well. We’ve been turning down business all year long because of limited kitchen space so as things tighten in the market we have been able to replace any lost business with those jobs that we would have turned down in the past.
We have incredible customers and of course I believe we make incredible food with the best customer service so I’m not too worried. I told somebody a few days ago, on a scale of one to ten, one being not worried at all and ten being scared shitless, I’m about a five. In fact we still have multiple opportunities to pick up business in areas we are certain will work, we just haven’t had the time to focus on them.
My heart goes out though to all those who have lost jobs and are struggling with our current economic condition. I pray each day that our business will continue to thrive and succeed and I wish all of my readers the same.
So try out this recipe if you like parsnips. You will enjoy it and it was easy to make.
Parsnip Soup with Toasted Pecans and Feta (serves 8)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 large leeks, white part only, sliced
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 pound potatoes, peeled cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 cups water
- 2/3 cup half and half
- 6 tablespoons pecans, toasted, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
- 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the leeks and sweat, stirring regularly for eight minutes or until softened. Stir in the potato and parsnips and cook for ten minutes, stirring every few minutes so that the vegetables don’t color.
Add the stock and water plus 1 tablespoon salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. As soon as it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until potato and parsnip are tender. Remove from the heat.
Cool slightly, then blend with a stick blender (or in batches with a regular blender) until smooth. Stir in the cream and then taste. Add more salt if necessary. Reheat gently over low heat – don’t allow to boil or your cream will separate.
Just before serving, mix pecans with a small drizzle of oil to give them a nice gloss. Ladle soup into bowls and top with feta. Sprinkle over the pecans, add a grinding of black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley.