Category Archives: Parsnips

Red Lentil & Turnip Soup

Today was one of those blustery windy sort of days. Today was a day where the entire time from morning till afternoon was gray and rainy. When I drove into school at the early hour that I do, it was hard to tell the difference between the puddles and the actual blacktop it was so dark out! I kept candles burning in my office all day to keep the cheer going. I do like blustery days, but it can soon get you into more of a down trodden mood.

It drizzled on my way home, stopped raining, and then started raining heavily the closer I got. In an attempt to stay “looking nice”, I attempted to use my umbrella to shield myself from the wind and rain. No such luck. It was like what you see on commercials on tv, the umbrella turned itself inside out and took my hair with it! I was quite the sight: hair blowing everywhere, and completely unable to remove the umbrella from my head because it was caught in my hair!

Thursdays, as I’ve stated before, are the one day that Tom is actually home for dinner at a normal time. So, I always do my best to make that meal something well thought through. I had even remembered last night to take some chicken breasts out of the freezer and place them in the fridge so that they would have time to thaw. But, by the time I got home, all I kept thinking about was soup. “My this would be a great day for soup,” my mind kept hinting at me. Tom is a huge fan of soup on top of everything! The deal was sealed when he came home and tried to guess what we were having for dinner- and his first guess was soup! How could I resist?

This dish is a beautiful, homey, and warm soup. The earthy taste of turnips and the rustic taste of lentils take your imagination to years of the past. Perfect for a day like today, this dish would also work perfectly on a cold winter night.

  • 2 (28 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans of tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups chopped celery, including leaves
  • 8 large turnips, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Cayenne Pepper

Fill a 12 quart pot half way with water and bring to a boil. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic cloves and half of onion. Chop celery leaves and add to pot. Let boil for 5 to 7 minutes.  At this stage, make sure the seasonings are balanced, taking extra time to test and add accordingly.

Add lentils to boiling mixture, let boil for 15 minutes or until almost finished. Add parsnips and celery. Let simmer for 5 minutes, add celery and simmer until just cooked. Serve with crusty Italian bread.


Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Lentils, Parsnips, Red Soup, Soup, Turnips


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Russet Potatoes and Winter Vegetables with Venison Steaks

Living in the Chicago area has awaked my interests to the world of food. Not just food I’m used to, but all foods from all nationalities and ethnicities. I love the diversity that is here! Now, I am interested in those “other” items in the store, whereas I probably hardly noticed them, and in many places they probably weren’t available. Before you assume I’ve gone and found some extremely *unheard of* vegetable, think again, you have heard of both of these, but I’ve never cooked with them until recently. Parsnips and Butternut Squash. I fell in love, head over heels, with Butternut squash in the last recipe I used it in. I eye it temptingly as I pass it by in the aisles.

Today when I was in the store, I passed by a whole aisle of root vegetables. The turnips looked great, so did the parsnips. I looked across the way and eyed some butternut squash that also looked very lovely. I will do something with the turnips another day, but I so enjoyed using the Parsnips and Butternut squash in this recipe.

I originally was going to use white onions in this dish, but lacked the right amount, and had enough purple onion, and realized how much more beautiful it would look with that instead. Tom loved this dish. He couldn’t quit raving about the quick little sauce I put together for it.

I was not expecting to like this dish as much as I did. I thought it would be good… but I wasn’t anticipating the explosion of flavors and the warm embrace of the butternut squash, potatoe, parsnip, and onion mixture. A beautiful combination I would recommend for the winter especially.

  • 6 or 7 large Russet potatoes
  • 4 large parsnips
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 large purple onion
  • 6 venison steaks (can be subsituted with beef steaks)
  • parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Celery Stalk
  • Cayenne Pepper

Preheat over to 450 degrees F. Wash and chop Russet potatoes, leaving skin on. Peel and chop the butternut squash, onion,  and parsnips, making sure to leave in large chunks. Toss with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Add more salt than seems necessary, as the vegetables and potatoes will all soak it up. Place into the oven for 20 minutes covered in foil, check for partial doneness. If at least half way cooked, uncover until cooked thoroughly. If not, recover and cook for 10 minutes more. Using a flat spatula, gently turn the mixture, letting each piece have a chance to brown and crisp slightly. When dish is cooked through, potatoes are soft, remove, add chopped parsley. Set aside.

Pat dry venison steaks or beef steaks. Pierce with a fork multiple times, and massage in your favorite spice for either meat. (I used “Chicago Steak” from Weber Grilling Options. I would recommend anything with a high pepper content to highlight the venison.) In a heated frying pan, sear venison steaks, watching carefully to not let meat overcook.

In food processor, add a handful of parsley, celery stalk, 1/3 cup of Olive Oil, 1/3 raw parsnip, sliced, Cayenne pepper and Italian seasoning. Blend, adding salt and pepper to taste. Use to accompany the meat. Enjoy!


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