Jerusalem Artichoke & Parsnip Soup With White Bean, Dill and Smoked Tartines.
Nothing makes me happier than being behind the camera, working with my food and prop stylist, nourishing that passion for food and photography that brought us together. Heck, we do it all week long. With the same gusto, fun, dash of sass and sprinkle of emotion and splash of pride. We know we have a task at hand and we know how to bring our collective minds together. We have one shot to make you want to make the recipe you see all shiny pretty in front of you.
I work with amazing talented people. I will never stop saying that. We bring our experience, our truths, our personalities and we let each other talk through our craft. Sure, some days we hit the proverbial wall. But we pull each other up and we talk it out, work through it and keep the intensity and quality going. I love the different teams I work with. They are the unsung heroes of a beautiful photograph. It takes a village to make a cookbook and I am proud to be living on a passionate, goofy, funny and dedicated block of that village. There I said it. I wanted to say it.
That said, most of us have a little of weird streak in that we can’t wait for the weekend to come so we can get together and cook, style and shoot some more. Even after a full week. Gluttons for punishment? No. Not really. We come together to play with the food we want at that moment, no schedule or call sheet in hand, just us. I get to play with my props in my own space at our own pace. There might be a couple of tasting breaks involved, maybe a couple of cocktails. Always a pup keeping a watchful eyes on us. It’s relaxed, it’s fun and it’s good for the brain, eye and soul.
This past weekend, I got together with food stylist Nathan Carraba for a Sunday Play Day in the kitchen and my home studio. We worked on three different stories and this is part one of the series. It was a gorgeous day to turn on the grill (and we did) but also to make the best of this transitional weather has to offer. It’s a bit too early here for Spring produce and winter ingredients are starting to look and taste less than seasonal. This is the South. Transition is happening. We’re just anxiously waiting on the other side of the fence…!
We started with one of my favorite weekend lunch combos. Soup and tartines. A silky Jerusalem artichoke and parsnip soup paired with a white bean, radish and smoked trout tartine. Nathan cooked and styled, I propped and shoot. And then we sat down to a lovely lunch before moving on to part deux of our plan (which I will post later).
Recipes follow. Stay tuned for more fun!
Jerusalem Artichokes and Parsnip Soup:
Notes: this soup is great hot but also really soothing and refreshing room temperatures. Cleaning the "eyes" out of the Jerusalem Artichokes simply means cleaning thoroughly the darker spots with a good brush, just like potatoes.
4 cups Jerusalem Artichokes, scrubbed well and eyes cleaned, cut in 2 inch pieces
4 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 6 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 shallot, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil
a few sprigs of parsley
Heat up the oven to 400F and position a rack in the middle.
Combine the Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, garlic together in a large mixing bowl. Toss together with the olive oil. On a large baking sheet, lined with foil, spread the vegetable mixture. Add a pinch of salt and cracked pepper.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
In a food processor, puree the vegetables with 2-3 cups of stock, pause, mix with spatula and add more stock until desired consistency (some people like a hearty thick soup like I do, some like it thinner).
Season with salt and pepper if needed.
For the garnish:
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a medium skillet. Once hot (stick the end of a wooden spoon in the oil, if it bubbles, you are good to go). Add the shallot slices and fry until golden brown.
To serve, simply add a tablespoon or so to each bowl and a few leaves of parsley.
White Bean and Smoked Trout Tartines:
4 slices whole grain or gluten free baguette
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup white beans (cannellini, chickpeas,..) from a can, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper
4 radishes, cleaned and sliced thin
8 oz smoked trout, flaked
3-4 springs fresh dill
one lemon, halved
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Brush the bread slices with the oil and grill until golden brown and crispy.
In a medium bowl, smash the white beans with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Assemble the tartines by spreading about 3 tablespoons of the white bean mixture on each bread slice. Top with 2 oz of the smoked trout and a few slices of radish. Top with some dill and a spritz of lemon juice.