Marian Morash’s Parsnip Chowder

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Marian Morash’s Parsnip Chowder

Parsnip Chowder? Indeed. In this traditional New England recipe, Marian Morash, the public television Victory Garden chef, hasn’t departed from convention, but has shortened the cooking time from the hour or two that was recommended 100 years ago. For less richness, substitute half-and-half or milk for the cream.

Yield: 4 servings

(Adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook b


  • 4 slices bacon, halved
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 8 ounces potatoes, peeled and chopped (l/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 2 cups cream
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into small pieces


1. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring to boiling. Add the bacon and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Drain, cool, and dice into 1/4-inch pieces.

2. Sauté the bacon pieces in a large, broad saucepan until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the onion to the fat in the saucepan and cook, stirring until golden, about 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat 3 cups of water to boiling. Add the parsnips and potatoes to the onion mixture, and add enough of the boiling water to cover. Add the salt, and heat to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Heat the cream. Pour over the cooked vegetables and heat again. Add pepper and more salt, to taste. Just before serving, stir in the butter. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the crisp bacon.


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