Not only did it drop about 30 degrees on Sunday and start to rain, but it was also one of those days where I messed up everything I tried to do. It started with the batch of quinoa I was making for the week. I remembered to check on it for once, only to find it needed a few more minutes. Then I forgot about it for about 20. A bad batch of quinoa… no big deal. But then there was the spent grain bread. I didn’t have six hours to let it rise, so I tried expediting it in a warm oven. I also put the butter in there, and turned it up to 200 for just a minute. Except ten minutes later I realized I’d forgotten to turn it back down. The bread had begun to cook and was ruined and the butter was all over the inside of my oven… and on my stove… and counter… and floor. So much so that I didn’t have enough to finish the dessert I was make for the evening. But guess what? It didn’t matter, because I wouldn’t be making the dessert anyways. I hadn’t read ahead to see that the dough needed to sit for 3-5 hours.
Yup. It was one of those days.
Then I got to my parents house to start the soup and the fun started all over. The food processor wasn’t put together properly and soup proceeded to spill all over the counter… and oven…and floor. And while I was trying to deal with that, I burnt the balsamic reduction so badly that it hardened to the pan… and my spoon… and the stove.
One of those days, I tell you. Needless to say, by the time I got around to taking photos, I really didn’t care anymore. The photos are not good, but the soup wasn’t bad and I turned the poor flattened would-be-bread into rosemary parmesan flat bread. And we ate it in silence.
Parsnip-Pear Soup with Balsamic Reduction
From Inspired Bites
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped into equal-sized pieces
- 2 pears, peeled and cut into eighths
- 1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into eighths
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 ¼ cups low-fat milk
- Position the rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 450°F.
- Toss the parsnips, pears, and onion in the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Put it in a roasting pan. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until very soft and starting to brown, about 50 minutes.
- While your fruit and vegetables roast, boil the vinegar in a small saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup. It takes
10 to 147-10 minutes. Watch the syrup carefully, especially at the end, so it doesn’t burn. DON’T TAKE YOUR FREAKIN’ EYES OFF OF IT BECAUSE IT STICKS TO EVERYTHING AND SMELLS TERRIBLE WHEN IT DOES. When it is done (assuming you don’t burn it horribly), you can pull a spoon through it and it see the bottom of the pan without the syrup immediately covering it back up. Remove it from the heat.
- In small batches, puree the roasted fruit and veggies in a food processor* with the liquids. You may find that you have more liquid than you need. I added 2 cups liquid to the original recipe because it just wasn’t enough! And still, my soup was very thick.
Add it all the saucepan and stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes.Gently reheat the balsamic syrup if it has become thicker than syrup while standing.Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.