It’s a scary thing becoming a blogger. Having no idea what the landscape of it all is and how to step your toe into it. Even if you should step your toe into it, opening yourself up to criticism and whatever else lurks in the anonymous corners of cyberspace. I remember when I first began C+M thinking it was going to be a lot like my day job (at the time) in academia but in hobby form–I’d spend most days working on it at home alone, produce publishable work every now and then. It didn’t once occur to me that the producers of that work could be friends or colleagues or collaborators, that they could cheer each other on from behind screens and maybe even become real life friends.
The first time I got a glimpse into that kind of community, though, it was through Cynthia of Two Red Bowls. She reached out to me, newbie blogger that I was, with so much kindness and so many words of encouragement. Her kind words made my day, though I doubt she had any idea at the time. (It’s true, Cynthia, they did!) Because not only was Cynthia a gifted food photographer and stylist with a dedicated and established blog following, she was also a full-time lawyer in NYC. And on top of that, I was convinced after our first online interaction, she also happened to be the nicest human on all of the interwebs.
When we met in real life last year at the Saveur Blog Awards, I learned her kindness was just as genuine in real life as it was on the screen. That night we celebrated her win over drinks and lobster mac and also gabbed about her upcoming Hawaii wedding. At one point the topic of future children came up and I remember thinking to myself, damn, her kids are going to be some lucky little babes. Warm parents, good food, what more could a kid need? (Okay, probably a lot but since I don’t have any I’m going to say that those two things are probably the most important.)
Well, last week Cynthia announced that she had in fact given birth to a little dude, lovingly dubbed by the blogosphere as B3. And if her sweet little Instagram stories tell us anything already, it’s that he is just as beautiful as his B1 & B2 parents and just as loved as I suspected her future kids would be. So today, a bunch of us bloggers are gathering with a #ThreeRedBowls party to welcome sweet B3 (aka, Luke) into the world.
In keeping with the bowl theme, I’m (digitally) sending Cynthia some of this simple-enough-even-for-new-parents Parsnip and Potato Soup, made in a matter of minutes after a quick chop and boil, seasoned, and then pureed with an immersion blender. I top my parsnip soup with crispy pancetta and creamy creme fresh, which reminds me of a more fall-inspired loaded, slightly-elevated baked potato but in soup form. Simple, satisfying, bowl-ful.
This recipe also happens to be one of a few that appear in an article I have in the Fall issue of Spoonful Magazine! It’s an issue that’s filled with dinner party menus for all things luscious and velvety, from hearth-roasted meats to rich mushroom gravies to grilled caesar salads with thick anchovy-heavy dressings. And if I could channel the entire magazine’s contents to Cynthia right now to ease with the transition to new mommyhood, I absolutely would.
But she’s got plenty of food things coming her way from bloggers around the world who have dreamed up dishes that have had my mouth watering all week. For a full list of all of the #ThreeRedBowls love and recipe inspiration happening today on the web, head over to our hosts — Stephanie and Alana’s sites! And for info on where you can get your copy of Spoonful head here!
- 3 ounces of pancetta
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 6 medium sized parsnips, about 2-1/2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces with tough cores (if there are any) discarded
- 1 medium-sized Yukon gold potato, about ½ pound, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese
- kosher salt, to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- crème fraiche, for garnish
- microgreens, for garnish
- Lay the pancetta slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and turn to 400 degrees F. Allow pancetta to cook until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven when crisp and set aside on paper towels to drain while you prepare the rest of the soup.
- Heat butter over medium heat in a small pan. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potato and parsnips and cook until both are just tender and easily pierced by a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain water and return vegetables to the pot. Add chicken stock and turn heat to low. Using an immersion blender, blend the vegetables with the stock until smooth and velvety, adding more stock to reach your desired consistency if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish each bowl with crème fraiche, crispy prosciutto, and microgreens.