I had bought parsnips for some shoestring fries and a parsnip galette and still had three parsnips left over. I thought a nice chilled soup would be refreshing for one of our humid summer evenings, so I ad-libbed a parsnip vichyssoise.
- the white part of four leaks thin-sliced and sauteed in olive oil with pinch o'salt,
- the juice of one lemon squeezed into the pot,
- three thinly sliced parsnips added and softened,
- more salt and pepper
- chicken stock added to cover and simmered for 15-20 minutes,
- about a 1/2 to 3/4 of a pint of heave cream added
- puree with a stick blender until smooth,
- heat until bubbly.
I did cheat at this last step and saved a couple of fat calories by using fat free half and half. It maintains the silky texture of the soup although it adds some sweetness. You could add more lemon juice, but instead I added a crushed vitamin C tablet to boost the citric acid without adding more lemon flavor.
The main course was sauteed scallops over soba noodles. I made a quick sauce of seasoned rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, chopped scallion and garlic. Then, emboldened by my trial outing with the scotch bonnet, I chopped up the remaining two-thirds of the fiery fruit, tossed in into the sauce with the bay scallops, and sauteed with chopped baby bok choy and sliced carrot until the scallops were just opaque.
The boiled buckwheat noodles were dressed in peanut oil and lime juice, then topped with the scallop mixture.
I was just beginning to appreciate the complex fruitiness of the scotch bonnet when the entire front of my seared mouth started screaming bloody murder. I nobly fought the fiery beast for a few more stabs, but ultimately laid down my skewer in defeat.
Cynthia finished her helping in due order. She did admit though, that it was "pretty hot."