Elegant entertaining is easily perfected with parsnips, pomegranates and fresh herbs. Sweet, earthy, tart and just a kick of heat in this perfectly balanced soup. This festive Holiday Parsnip Soup With Cornmeal Crusted Oysters & Pomegranate Syrup will absolutely WOW your guests this holiday season. The pomegranate syrup adds a hint of tartness to counter the natural sweetness from the parsnips. The secret ingredient? Freshly grated nutmeg! Plus, the oysters will give you just a hit of heat from the cayenne.
- 4 lbs. parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3+ tsp. sea salt
- 3 tsp. white pepper
- 8-9* cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- Nutmeg, optional
- Garnishes – freshly grated nutmeg, fresh herbs, pomegranate seeds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On baking sheet, toss parsnips and onions with olive oil and plenty of salt and white pepper. Bake about 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through. Transfer parsnip-onion mixture to a large pot with 8* cups of stock to start. Bring to a boil then add cream. Simmer 10-15 minutes until tender. Let cool a few minutes before transferring to a blender. Puree in blender with butter until velvety smooth.
*If too thick, slowly add a little extra stock at a time until you have reached desired consistency. It should be thick. Reheat in saucepan before serving.
Make the syrup while the parsnips are baking (you can also purchase a bottle of pomegranate molasses).
- 4 tablespoons fresh POM juice
- 8 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
In a small, heavy pot add all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Let reduce to a syrup, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
Cornmeal Crusted Fried Oysters
- 8-10 fresh oysters (drain and pat dry with paper towel)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. cayenne or red pepper
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- Oil for frying oysters
Heat oil in heavy pot to 350 degrees. In small bowl, whisk eggs and add milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. In another bowl, stir cornmeal, flour, salt, cayenne and black pepper together. Place oysters in milk mixture. Dredge in cornmeal mixture, packing mixture onto oyster. Fry oysters in oil, turning once until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Divide evenly into bowls. Top with an oyster. Swirl in small amount of pomegranate syrup. Top with pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs. Use baby sage leaves and fresh thyme sprigs to garnish. Grate fresh nutmeg lightly over each bowl. Enjoy!