Kitchen Garden Seeds

Asparagus Bisque with a Parsnip Flan
Kara and Robert Brooks * Still River Café
Recipe Seeds
Nestled in northeastern Connecticut’s Mountain Laurel-studded woodlands, Still River Café is one of the best restaurants in all of Connecticut. Situated on the bucolic 27-acre North Ashford Farm, Executive Chef Kara Brooks creates seasonal menus with fresh, imaginative dishes that evoked reverent enjoyment and sensory delight. Her husband Robert lovingly grows vegetables and herbs nearby the beautifully restored 150-year old barn in a sun-dappled spot on the edge of the woods. It's a most magical culinary experience.
Asparagus Bisque with a Parsnip Flan
  • 1 Onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped Shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds Asparagus, cut into 1 1/2" pieces (reserve 6 tips)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

    Flan
  • 3 large Parsnips
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 6 ounces fresh soft chèvre (goat cheese)
  • Soup: Cook Onions, Shallots, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt in butter in a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until Onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add Asparagus, stock and water and simmer, covered, until Asparagus is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

    Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Stir in cream, crème fraîche, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Blanch the reserved Asparagus tips in salted boiling water until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

    Flan: Preheat oven to 325°F. Peel and cut the Parsnips into 1" pieces. Place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place in the work bowl of a food processor and purée. Add eggs one at a time. Add heavy cream, salt and pepper and process just to incorporate. Add chèvre (goat cheese). Butter 6 ramekins and fill them with the mixture. Place ramekins in a water bath and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until slightly puffed and an inserted knife comes out clean. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out.

    Place flan in the middle of a bowl, Pour the soup around the flan and garnish with Asparagus tips. Yield: 6 servings