Summary: A potage incorporates 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!
Yield: serves 6-10
- 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.