Destination Soup! Chef Jean-Georges’s Parsnip Soup with Coconut, Lime and Mint

Soup3Looking for a delicious & romantic getaway right about now? Look no further than The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort & Spa in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Making Cond Naste Traveler’s Gold List 2013, as one of the world’s best places to stay & U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hotels in Puerto Rico is no small feat. The former site of a coconut plantation, it sits at the edge of the El Yunque National Forest and only a 30 minute drive east of San Juan. The gated resort backs up to the 5,000 acre Espititu Santo River State Preserve. While Mother Nature took care of the backdrop, the water, the sand, the sun and the singing tree frogs, Chef Jean-Georges, The St. Regis and its staff took care of the rest!

A Lush locale and great food go hand in hand to be considered a perfect getaway and Jean- Georges’ Fern Restaurant is more than great! It sits atop the Plantation House with a view of the impossibly blue Caribbean water. It is reminiscent of a Newport Mansion/ Great Gatsby scene with the long lawn that stretches out to the edge of the beach. It was a simple & surprising parsnip soup with a fresh twist that had me requesting it more than once that week. Parsnip soup on a tropical vacation you say? Yes, yes.

The bowl was set before me and I was surprised to see a foamy center with speck of green and creamy white layer next to it and an obvious void on the left side. I looked deeply into my waiters eyes for clarity and that is when I spotted the shiny metal pitcher. Steam was wafting out of the top and our waiter swiftly and elegantly began to pour the hot soup into the void in the bowl. It was a lovely production. A really beautiful way to present the soup. One I will be re-enacting at a dinner party some time in the very near future. I took my spoon and swirled the simple parsnip soup with the coconut foam and lime froth, it had so many components that I had to eat it slowly to enjoy them all. From the the lime zest, the mint salt and parsnips, they all came together like they were always meant be together. Only a genius could create such a delicious soup by taking the simple, humble parsnip and putting a feather boa and diamond earrings on it with a sash that says “Not Your Mother’s Parsnip Soup”



For the adventurous of heart give it a try

For the Soup 

668 g Onion, sliced very thin

140 g Butter

2268 g Peeled and thinly sliced parsnip

4800 g Water

800 g Heavy cream

60 g Salt

In a pot, heat butter until foamy and add onion and 20 g salt. Cook on medium heat until onions are totally tender. Add remaining ingredients, except for the salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, covered until parsnips are completely tender. Puree in blender until completely smooth, pass through a chinois making sure nothing is left behind; then season gradually with the salt.

For the Coconut Foam 

295 g Young coconut juice and flesh (1 canister)

4 G Telephone brand agar

395 g Coconut milk (1 can)

1 g Green thai chili

41⁄2 g Salt

1⁄2 g Xanthan

Whisk agar into coconut juice and flesh. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 1 minute. Spread into a hotel pan and cool until completely cool. Combine all but xanthan in blender and puree until completely smooth. Feather in xanthan and puree for 15 seconds. Strain through a chinois, pushing for total extraction.

If cold, warm to loosen without making warm. Load into a siphon and charge with 3 charges. For the Lime Froth

For the Lime Froth

300 g Water

150 g Fresh lime juice

10 g Microplaned lime zest

50 g Elderflower cordial

4 g Lecithin

Combine all and warm to 120 C. Aerate with a hand blender to obtain dense foam. Let settle for 30 seconds and scoop as needed.

For the Mint Salt 

15 g dried mint (microwave)

10 g salt

Grind to fine powder.

To Serve 6 oz   soup

4 Tbsp coconut foam

1 Tbsp lime froth

Microplaned lime zest Mint salt

In a small hot bowl dispense foam. Place a dollop of lime froth opposite. Sprinkle 1⁄2 the foam with the mint salt, then microplane a little lime zest over all. Heat soup without reducing. Pour in between the two foams tableside.