Parsnips may look like overgrown mutated white carrots, but they have a fabulously sweet and nutty flavor that's all their own.
Here, parsnips are used to make a simple but satisfying creamy soup perfect for a chilly night. Serve it as a humble supper all on its own with crusty bread or crackers. Add a fresh tossed green salad or cheese-garnished salad of hearty winter greens for more of a dinner. This simple soup is also lovely as an elegant first course to a more substantial meal.
- 1 onion or leek
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 2 pounds parsnips (peeled and chopped)
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 cups low-fat or whole milk
- Dash of freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste
- Garnish: fresh herbs (shown here with chervil, but parsley or chives are also nice)
- Peel and chop the onion or leek (if using a leek, be sure to rinse the resulting pieces perfectly clean so your soup won't be gritty).
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion or leek and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is a bit creamy looking, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat, if needed, so the onions or leeks cook but don't start to brown.
- While the onions or leeks cook, peel and mince the garlic clove. Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- While the onion or leek cook, also peel and chop the parsnips. Add them and the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the parsnips are very tender to the bite, about 20 minutes.
- Purée the soup until very smooth. The easiest way to do this is to use a hand-held immersion blender. Alternatively, work in batches and transfer the soup to a blender or food processor (cover blender with a kitchen towel to avoid potential burns) and whirl each batch until utterly smooth. For a truly ultra-smooth soup, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, if you like.
- Add the milk and gently heat, stirring occasionally, until nice and hot all the way through. Be careful not to let the soup come to a boil since that will curdle the milk. While the soup heats, finely chop or mince any herbs you want to use as a garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with fresh chopped herbs, if you like.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||11 g|
|Saturated Fat||6 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||3 g|
|Dietary Fiber||7 g|