Every November we attend a wonderful luncheon at the Burlington Arts Centre in Burlington, Ontario. It is their annual Soup Bowl event.
Dozens of potters work countless hours throughout the year to produce beautiful hand-made bowls. For one weekend in November 1,000 of those bowls are sold off to raise money for the arts centre. Each person buys a ticket and is allowed to choose one bowl as they enter the dining hall.
Once you have chosen your bowl you take it to one of the restaurant stations where they fill it with delicious soup and provide you with a side salad to go with it. After you finish your lunch volunteers take away your bowl, wash it and bring it back to you all wrapped and ready to take home.
There were four local restaurants who donated soup and salads for the patrons. This year the generous donors were Socrates, Pepperwood Bistro, Canyon Creek and Emma’s Backporch. I chose the Lemon, Chicken and Rice soup that Socrates had provided. It was light and lemony and delectable.
I was invited to this event by my sister who is one of the potters at the centre. She made 50 bowls for the event on her own. It is a great way to start off the holiday season and to support the arts. It is also a great place to find local works of art for holiday gift giving. She has invited me a few times over the past few years and now we consider the day a tradition. It is a great way to get together with family and friends over a sumptuous lunch.
As a tribute to this event I am featuring a wonderful fall soup that I found in my new cookbook Small Plates and Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga. This beautiful cookbook is a work of art on its own. I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did.
Roasted Parsnip and Apple Soup with Mustard Croutons
Makes: 6 to 8 Servings
1 lb. parsnips, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for garnish
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, diced 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
5 c. chicken stock
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
3 slices sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Grated Gruyère cheese, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Toss the diced parsnips, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the parsnips halfway through the cooking process.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender but not browned.
Add the roasted parsnips, apples, potatoes, chicken stock, coriander, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, remaining olive oil, and thyme leaves. Add the diced bread cubes and toss them in the dressing. Lay the croutons on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden and crispy.
Puree the soup in a blender in batches or with a hand blender in the pot.
Top each serving with the croutons, and Gruyère cheese.
The soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or it can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Recipe from Small Plates and Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga