I never tire of soup this time of year, but adding a new one to the mix keeps things exciting. Winter is crabmeat season—at least at my house!—and I still had a handful of carrots and parsnips leftover from the fall harvest, so I merged them together in this glorious soup recipe. This soup stimulates the senses while not adding too many extra calories to the meal: It’s creamy without cream and sweet without sugar, and the Asian-inspired ingredients incorporate the flavors of the Far East without being overpowering. The final product is a beautiful pale orange, and the dollop of crabmeat salad on top adds a luxurious touch to the humble root-vegetable combination.
The preparation of the soup couldn’t be simpler—it’s the ingredients that do the heavy lifting. Ginger is a natural partner to any carrot and parsnip dish. For that touch of sweetness in your soup, roast the parsnips first. Add lemongrass and lime juice for acidity, creating balance and complexity in the flavor.
Yield: 4 servings
- 6 small parsnips, peeled
- 6 medium carrots, peeled
- 1 small onion
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 1-inch knob ginger, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- juice of half a lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 pound cooked crabmeat
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 small hot pepper, chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped (or in a pinch, 2 T. tomato salsa)
- 2 T. cilantro, chopped
- 1 T. olive oil
- lime juice, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut onion, carrots and parsnips into even chunks, toss with olive oil, and roast for 15 minutes or until fork-soft and slightly browned.
In large pot, combine roasted vegetables with broth, lemongrass, ginger and bay leaf. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove bay and lemongrass. Purée, and add salt and pepper to taste.
While soup is cooking, use a fork to carefully mix crabmeat-garnish ingredients.
Before serving, add lime juice to purée. Carefully spoon a tablespoon of crabmeat garnish on top of each bowl of soup. Float a few croutons and some chunks avocado on the soup, too, if you like.