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Cooking fills me with glee, particularly when my wife raves on and on about a particular dish with how flavorful it is, how the texture is just right, and how she is asking for seconds only halfway through her first spoonful. The glee, of course, is joy that a particular recipe succeeded. The super glee for me, though, is that it is filled with proscribed ingredients that she has determined aren’t suitable for human consumption.

Curry powder.
Coriander.
Cumin.

These three alone are at the top of The List and, generally, I accede to her wishes; I want her to enjoy her meals but it doesn’t stop me from occasionally succumbing to whim and faith that a particular dish will enchant. As this soup dish had parsnips in it, one of her fave root vegetables, this may have been the deciding aspect in her decision. No doubt at some point she will read this blog more closely and realize what she ate. For me, it gives me more leeway to tease her palate with the forbidden.

So yeah, one singularly nice vegetarian soup. Parsnips on their own have a delicate sweetness and the addition of half an apple certainly didn’t hurt. The amount of oil and butter initially used in this recipe was quite minimal, less than a tablespoon of each by nearly half, and when the onions and the herbs came together in an earthy brown, this Vedic mirepoix really got the flavors together nicely.

Meanwhile, I pulled out a yogurt jug from the refrigerator which was half full of duck fat and two duck legs from just before Christmas. Just as the French did a century ago without refrigeration, the duck fat ably preserved the legs from bacteria, and so as they were held fast in the solid duck fat, I warmed the jug and plopped the entire solid mass into a stainless steel bowl and put it over some simmering water to melt away the fat from the preserved legs. It worked chike a larm and just as the soup was finishing and I was chopping chives for the garnish, the duck legs were sautéing away successfully in their cast iron skillet.

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My wife thought that the duck legs seemed a bit saltier than she remembered from Christmas, though these were indeed the same duck legs from that other, successful dinner. Who knows? Would the salt get concentrated more while being preserved?

In any case, the Nebbiolo went nicely with the duck and soup, and here we are on a Saturday night at the kitchen table, resting up for a piece of chocolate sour cherry tart later. Small pieces.

No, really.

Note; Spiced Parsnip and Apple Soup recipe adapted from Delicious! Magazine, Dec, 2013 (probably).

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