Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Caramelized Pressure Cooker Carrot and Parsnip Soup [Zack]

I'm not sure - this new pressure cooker soup may flat-out tie the pressure cooker chicken stock recipe in terms of life-changers. While originally shopping for a pressure cooker (with Gita), I thought I was only going to be making Indian food in it. A lot of the recipes involved toasting spices, pressure cooking veggies for a certain number of pressure "hisses", and then enjoying a hot and spicy meal.

But once I got comfortable using the pressure cooker, I started reading about how the cooker could speed up the cooking times of a multitude of different recipes. The next logical step (to me) was to start experimenting with making teriyaki beef short ribs. They turned out great, and the cooking device mimicked a multiple-hour braise in the oven in about 45 minutes. Next, I graduated to chicken stock (which takes 45 minutes instead of 3.5 hours to make).

Modernist Cuisine (a bad-ace cookbook that combines science and cooking and beautiful cross-section photography) wrote a recipe for making caramelized carrot soup in a pressure cooker.  I tried a dumbed-down version of their recipe and it was different than any other soup I've ever made before.  The texture was impossibly smooth and it had a nice deep flavor.

If you have a pressure cooker, give this a shot.  You have nothing to lose!


Start by organizing your ingredients and peeling the carrots and parsnips.

Next, slice the carrots and parsnips into 1/4 inch chunks.  Also peel and halve your shallots and garlic.

Melt the butter and add it to the pressure cooker over medium heat.  Once the butter is melted, add the peeled and halved shallots.

Saute for a brief few minutes to develop some color.  Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir to coat with the butter.  Dump in your 1/2 tsp of baking soda and your 1/2 cup of liquid.

Close the lid of the pressure cooker according to your manufacturer's directions and let it cook for 15 minutes once you hear your first "hiss".

Once the 15 minutes are up, depressurize the pressure cooker under cold tap water.

Remove the lid and you should see nice, soft veggies.  You can also see some caramelization on the bottom of the pot.

Add in your 2 cups of chicken stock (or water), and blend with a stick blender.  Make sure to scrape up all of the flavor goodies at the bottom of the pot.

The soup should be silky and flavorful.  Adjust for salt and seasonings and serve!  I used my Gitadini Stacko Serving Stand to present it, along with 2 other soups :)

3 large parsnips
3 large carrots
3 shallots
3 garlic cloves
3 T butter (1/3 of a stick)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup water
2 cups chicken stock (or water for all-veg)

Creativity options:

  • Add ginger
  • Use any root vegetables (pumpkin rocks)
  • Add cloves, cinnamon, etc
  • Add cumin
  • Stir in something naughty to finish off the soup:  heavy cream, coconut cream, sour cream

Song to make smooth soup love to:  Alicia Keys and Maxwell:  The Fire We Make
Fire We Make (Ft. Maxwell) by Alicia Keys on Grooveshark

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