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Author Notes: Potages often incorporate the vegetables (and/or meat) one has on hand, and today, a cold, icy, gray one in which going to the store is out of the question, I considered that a comfort dish like a fresh potage would not only satisfy but help me clean through my kitchen.
In my fridge I had a fresh pound of parsnips and some lingering rutabagas. My pantry proffered a handful of small red-skinned potatoes, some shallots, garlic and good olive oil. And a glance at my windowsill reminded me that one of the persimmons I’d plucked last month was finally seriously ripe.
The gears in my brain clicked into motion. A slow saute of chopped shallots and garlic then invited chopped parsnips, potatoes and rutabagas into the warm pot. I added salt, pepper, rosemary, and vegetable broth, brought things to a boil before lowering the flame to maintain a shy simmer. When the veggies were tender, I added a half-cup of the persimmon pulp and blended the whole thing into creamy oblivion. As a final touch of pretty and texture, I added diced persimmon (from the lesser-ripe of the two; but it was still pretty ripe) and a few rosemary leaves to the top. Both were delicious stirred in! - em-i-lis
Makes about 8 cups
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup (generous!) peeled and chopped shallots
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 sprig (large) rosemary, leaves only
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 parsnips (about 10.5 oz), trimmed, peeled and chopped
- 1 rutabaga (about 6 oz), trimmed, peeled and chopped
- 5 small red-skinned potatoes (about 5.5 oz), scrubbed and chopped
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup ripe persimmon pulp (about 1 fuyu) + diced persimmon for garnish
- In a large soup pot set over medium heat, pour enough olive oil to slick the bottom, 2-3 tablespoons. When warm, turn the heat to medium-low and add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, until the shallots are translucent. Don't let anything brown too much.
- Add the salt, rosemary leaves, several generous grinds of fresh black pepper, the parsnips, rutabagas and potatoes. Toss with a wooden spoon until the shallots, garlic and oil have nicely coated the vegetables. Add the broth, and bring to a boil.
- When boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook -stirring occasionally- until the vegetables are easily pierced with a knife. There should be no resistance to the blade. At this point, add the 1/2 cup of persimmon pulp, and using an immersion blender, carefully puree everything into creamy oblivion.
- Serve warm, garnished with diced persimmon (from a less ripe fruit) and rosemary leaves if you have extra.
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