Saturday, November 18, 2017

Parsnip, Potato and Pear Soup #FabulousFallBounty #SoupSaturdaySwappers #Winophiles

Welcome to the first day of our five day celebration featuring #FabulousFallBounty.  This feast is being hosted by Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  Cam believes that while Spring produce seems to get the lion's share of attention - think pea shoots and fiddlehead ferns - Fall's fabulous produce is sandwiched between the glut of pumpkin recipes for Halloween and the sweets-heavy holiday season.

Disclosure: This post and recipe contains and uses product provided by sponsors.  There was no expectation from my post other than I write, as always, my true and honest opinions.

So, this year, she invited a dozen food bloggers to share recipes and ideas that celebrate the #FabulousFallBounty. Many thanks to our event sponsors: Silpat for a handy silicone mat; Le Creuset for a lovely serving platter; and Melissa's Produce for providing the bloggers with a beautiful box of goodies.

We hope you enjoy our creations using fingerling potatoes; delicata, butternut, and acorn squashes; garlic and shallots; roasted chestnut and steamed beets; fennel and celery root; pears and so much more! Keep an eye on these blogs for inspiration as we rush towards Thanksgiving...

I thought it was providence that our first day of this Fabulous Fall Bounty event landed on the same date as my #SoupSaturdaySwappers posting date.  Of course, it may have been all in Cam's plan since she, too, belongs to Soup Swappers. 

This month's soup swappers host is Sally of Bewitching Kitchen who chose French Soups as our theme.  Coincidence that two of our sponsors, Le Creuset and Silpat, are based in France?  Well, Sally chose this theme way before Fabulous Fall Bounty was even a thought in Cam's head....providence.

Then, to make things even more remarkable, today is also the day we share wine and food pairings with The French Winophiles.  Providence?  Or Cam's masterminding since we both belong to all three of these groups?  Pray tell Cam!!

So here I was, faced with the wonderful challenge of creating a French Soup to pair with a French wine (in this case our theme is Beaujolais) using amazing fresh and seasonal bounty from an American company, Melissa's Produce.  Oh, to suffer this fate each day would be heavenly.

If you would like more information about The French Winophiles and Beaujolais wines please see my Say Yay to Beaujolais post from this past Thursday.

Image result for my french family table

Okay, I have one more thing to point towards providence in these events today.  I belong to another group, Foodies Read, and had won a cookbook called My French Family Table by Béatrice Peltre. Surely that could not have been part of Cam's plan.  I mean, she does belong to that group as well but how would she have any idea that I won or which book I chose?  Right, Cam?  You could have no idea, right?

Well, whether or not Cam knew or didn't know about how all of these things would work out perfectly for me, I am extremely grateful that it did. 

I found a gorgeous recipe for Parsnip, Potato and Pear Soup in the cookbook that I adapted so that I could use some of the lovely produce I had been provided.  I also adapted the recipe for Hazelnut and Tarragon Pesto in the book to use the Chestnuts that had been part of the package given to me by Melissa's.

This creamy, flavorful soup is given some texture with the chestnut pesto swirl.  The garnish of goat cheese and dried cranberries add a pop of color and brightness to this earthy soup.  It is perfect for a soup and salad lunch, as I enjoyed it, but would be even nicer as a first course on your Thanksgiving table.  

I served it up with a glass of Domaine de Briante Brouilly from the Beaujolais area of France.  I thought the pairing of the dry, fruity wine was perfect with the earthy sweetness of the soup.  

Soupe aux Panais, aux Pommes de Terre, et aux Poires
adapted from My French Family Table 

2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 lb. fingerling potatoes, chopped 
2 T. garlic infused olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 large leek, white and light green parts, well scrubbed and sliced
3  small ripe pears, I used Fiorello, cored and diced
6 c. chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. heavy cream
5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3 T. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. whole steamed, peeled chestnuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 t. finely grated orange zest
1/4 c. tarragon leaves
1/2 c. parsley leaves
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 c. good olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot.  Add the shallot and leek, cook and stir for about 5 minutes until softened.  Add the parsnips, potatoes and pears, cooking for a few minutes.  Add the chicken stock, bay leaves and tarragon sprigs.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, until all vegetables are soft.  Remove the bay leaves and tarragon sprigs. 

While soup is simmering, combine the feta and cranberries.  Set aside.  

Place the chestnuts, garlic, orange zest, tarragon, parsley and Parmesan cheese in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined and minced.  Running the food processor, drizzle in the olive oil until a paste like consistency is obtained.  This pesto will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Using an immersion blender, food processor or heavy duty stand blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Stir in the cream. 

Divide the hot soup into 6-8 individual bowls.  Add a spoonful of the pesto to each and stir just enough to swirl it through.  Add a sprinkle of the cheese and cranberry mixture and serve. Print Recipe

Let's see what the others are sharing on this first day of Fabulous Fall Bounty

More French Soup Recipes


  1. That looks amazing, and would be perfect for a Thanksgiving starter. Love potatoes, parsnips and leeks together and adding the pears, interesting.

  2. That is France all over for all possible reasons! How cool is that? Beautiful soup, I can almost taste it through the screen!!!!

  3. This sounds heavenly and totally unique! A must try for sure!!!

  4. That looks absolutely delicious and perfect for fall!

  5. Oh my, so serendipitous that you were able to combine all three events! So much better than double posting! I hope that all part of Camilla's plan!

    P.S. Lovely soup!

  6. Your soup looks beautiful! I love it when a bunch of differenct events all line up like yours did! How perfect!

  7. A warm bowl of this soup would be of great comfort!

  8. I'm glad the cookbook came in handy. And no, Cam wasn't masterminding what you won... at least I think she wasn't. You never know. She's crafty!

    1. She sure is Heather. Thanks for hosting this great group each month and giving us the opportunity to win some wonderful books.


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