Parsnips taste like carrots to me - if my eyes were closed when eating them, I'm not sure I could tell the difference, although the texture of a steamed or roasted parsnip is a little more firm and cellular than that of a carrot. Nevertheless, the classic pairing of carrot and ginger is what inspired me to this parsnip soup flavored with ginger, and the addition of pear was simply a whim. But give it a try, it's delicious. I left my very thick, so a small serving is enough as a side dish, but you could thin it out with more broth if you wanted it more soupy.
Serves 4 as a side
1 large parsnip (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut in 1/2" dice
1 medium firm ripe pear, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups stock
3 coins fresh, peeled ginger (about 1" diameter, 1/2" thick)
Saute the onion in just a glisten of olive oil. Add the garlic once the onion is softened and stir to coat. Stir in the parsnip, ginger, and add the broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes or until parsnip is tender. Stir in the pear and return to a boil, then remove the ginger and puree the entire batch to desired consistency.
Serve garnished with a sprinkling of nutmeg and some pepitas (pumpkin seeds).