Itsy Bitsy History of the Parsnip
In the Middle Ages, Geneva was running over with parsnips, which they referred to as “white carrots”. It was almost always included in their “eternal pots” of soup, which consisted of seasonal vegetables that they just kept adding more vegetables to as needed, and a piece of meat once a week.
After World War II, many root vegetables went out of fashion in Europe, because people had had to survive on them and nothing else during the war, so farmers eventually stopped growing them. The same went for pumpkin. People in the north of France who had lived through the war and eaten pumpkin every day couldn’t bear the thought of eating pumpkin ever again.
In recent years, these old-fashioned vegetables, including parsnips, have again become available, and chefs are going crazy with new ideas on how to use them.
Parsnips are plentiful at the moment and there’s nothing better than soup to warm you up on a cold winter’s day. Eric Burkel, former financial analyst, entrepreneur and now president of his local food coop in Paris, got this recipe from one of the farmers who supplies vegetables to the coop.
Parsnip soup recipe