Smoked Parsnip Cream
- To make the parsnip chip, I n a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, juice, and salt with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn off heat.
- Dip parsnip slices in the juice mix and drain of excess.
- Lay the parsnip slices in a single layer over a dehydrator sheet. Cover with an empty dehydrator sheet to act as a weight. Dehydrate overnight. Alternatively, place the parsnip strips on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place the tray in the centre rack of a oven that has been preheated to 100°C. Bake until the parsnip strips are crisp and dry but do not take on any colour, about 80 minutes.
- To make the soup, heat a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, then the shallots and a large pinch of salt, and sauté until the shallots are tender. Stir in the pumpkin and season with salt and white pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin begins to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and cook until the pumpkin is tender and the stock has reduced by one-fourth. about 40 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the orange zest and season. Working in batches, puree the pumpkin mixture in a blender on high speed until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine sieve. Season to taste with salt and orange juice.
- Meanwhile, to make the smoked parsnip cream, in a medium heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat, stirring often, until it has browned, but not burned, about 3 minutes Add the parsnips to the browned butter and cook for about 1 minute. Season. Add the milk and cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the parsnips are very tender, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on high until the mixture is very smooth. Season with salt. Transfer it to a large bowl and cover it tightly with cling film, leaving one small area uncovered. Place the hose of a culinary smoking gun through the open area. Ignite about 1 to 2 teaspoons of fine wood chips in the gun chamber and allow the smoke to flow through the hose and into the bowl. Remove the hose and cover the bowl very tightly with cling film to trap in the smoke. Set the mixture aside for about 20 minutes to allow the smoke to infuse the parsnip cream. Transfer the hot parsnip cream to an isi gun, charge twice and shake vigorously. Keep the dispenser warm in a hot water bath until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, to make jamon chips, position the rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 220°C.
- Place the sliced jamon on a heavy baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and top it with a second baking tray. Place in the oven. until very crisp and brittle, about 10 minutes.
- Immediately transfer the jamon chips to kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil. When cooled, break into 4cm pieces.
- To serve, divide the soup among six antique tea cups or four bowls. Squeeze a dollop of the parsnip cream over the soup. Place 2 or 3 jamon chips and some parsnip chips on each serving.