I’m very happy to show you this magazine cover because that is my photo. The pie was made by Kate Nelson of Piecurious here in Dallas. It is a beauty. But Terri Taylor and Nanci Taylor, the Publisher and Editor of Edible Dallas & Fort Worth, respectively, were kind enough to not only choose one of my photos for the cover, but also to include a little missive by me on “the meaning of pie” and several of my recipes.
Even more fun, if you look closely in the issue, you will find an image of my hands crimping a pie crust. That photo was taken by my eight-year-old daughter, Lily. And, Terri and Nanci were sweet enough to give her a photo credit. Occasionally, Lily has to handle the camera in my kitchen because I am elbow deep in a mess, or I need to demonstrate something using my hands. I will set up the tripod and she will get a stool and scramble up there and thoughtfully address the camera. She takes her job as an artist very seriously. This is a family affair. Our neighbor, Linda, said to Lily, “You have something to put on your resume now.” Lily smiled proudly and said, “What in the world is a resume?” She’s neat. If you remember, the last Edible Dallas & Fort Worth cover was taken by my husband, Pitts. I was grilling fish steaks for photos to accompany a recipe by noted Dallas chef Tim Byres, and flat ran out of hands and time. As I told you, we eat what we photograph around here, so many shots are done on the way to the table. I cried “uncle” and handed off the camera to Pitts, and he took many of the great photos for that session, one of which was of a cast iron skillet full of glistening cherry tomatoes and pickled green beans and carrots being cooked over a fire. It was so gloriously juicy and lovely that it landed on the last cover.
The Edible magazines, all over the U.S. do a great job of bringing attention to the fresh, local foods that an area has to offer. As a family of magazines, they have a beautiful look and draw delicious attention to farmers markets, food entrepreneurs, and news makers in the arena of local foods. This issue contains articles on the DFW Truck Farm, Holiday Pies, and Wintery Soups including a fantastic Beef & Brew Stew by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. There is also a story by Nancy Krabill about Jim Blumetti and his pasta sauces, which were inspired by his grandmother. There is an article on local wine and cheese pairings from Scardello, which I think would be a great gift-giving resource. Kim Pierce (bio) wrote a piece on the continuing drought. And, finally, Teresa Gubbins, has an article on the local craft beers making an appearance in North Texas. It is a packed issue.
This is one of the recipes featured in the Winter issue. It is a subtly flavored cream soup. Roasting brings out the sweetness and robust flavor of the parsnips and leeks that are highlighted. I used a light hand in adding seasonings, because I very much enjoy parsnips. But you can add to the seasoning if you like. I hope you have a chance to pick up a copy of Edible Dallas & Fort Worth. In it, I have another recipe of which I am particularly fond. It is a Savory Winter Harvest Pie with roasted sweet potatoes, acorn squash and butternut squash, covered with a bread crumb and Parmesan topping. It is stupendous, if I do say so myself.
If you live in another area, find out if you have an Edible magazine covering your area. They are not to be missed.
Roasted Parsnip Soup
3 pounds parsnips, peeled
1 pound leeks, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
3 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
½ cup cream
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground mace
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the parsnips and leeks into ½” rounds. Place them in a large rimmed baking pan, and drizzle olive oil over them. Toss the parsnips and leeks to ensure that they are evenly coated with oil. Place in the oven and roast for 50 minutes or until the parsnips are uniformly tender. Cover the pan with foil near the end of the cooking time, if the parsnips are becoming too browned.
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the roasted vegetables and chicken broth in batches and puree until completely smooth. Transfer the pureed vegetables to a stock pot as you work.
Bring the pureed vegetables to a simmer. Add the cheese and cream and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the ginger and mace and stir to combine. Serve warm.
Tip #2 Mace is made from the covering of the nutmeg seed. It is milder than nutmeg, and has a flavor that lends itself well to savory applications. Nutmeg may be substituted for the mace in this soup, but use a very light hand with it so that it doesn’t overpower the interesting flavor of the roasted parsnips.
Tip #3 An immersion blender will process the roasted vegetables and chicken broth in the stockpot.