Parsley Root Soup with Singing Brook Cheese Toast and Escargots
At The Barn, Chef Cooke uses fresh parsley root from the garden, for its fresh, bright flavor and silky consistency when pureed. You can substitute parsnips with similar results. Cooke likes wild Burgundian escargots, but you can use any canned variety or substitute wild mushrooms such as morels, chanterelles, and hen of the woods for a vegetarian variation.
THE SOUP: In a stockpot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and half of the garlic, and sauté until very tender. Add the parsley root and 4 ounces (one stick) of the butter to the pot; cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, until the parsley root is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Add enough milk to cover the parsley root, and cook until soft, about 45 minutes. Puree in a blender in batches, adding another 4 ounces of butter and the salt, to taste. Set aside.
THE TOAST: Slice the bread to desired thickness, drizzle with the olive oil, and toast lightly in a 350°F oven. Set aside.
THE ESCARGOT: Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the shallot, the remaining minced garlic, the escargot, and 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter to pan; heat through. Warm the escargot in the butter mixture. Add the parsley and chives at the last minute with a squeeze of lemon juice, and season to taste with salt.
To serve, place five escargot on top of each toast (reserving the butter in the pan), and grate the cheese over the escargot. Warm in an oven or broiler until the cheese is melted. Warm the soup, and garnish with extra-virgin olive oil and a dusting of powered Espelette pepper. Drizzle the reserved escargot butter over the toasts; serve on the side.
By Blackberry Farm's resident chef de cuisine Adam Cooke
Photography by Heather Anne Thomas