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Creamy Parsnip Soup

November 21, 2014

 

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It’s the season of tubers and root vegetables. Parsnips, with their unique rustic flavor, tend to be an under appreciated vegetable. Combining this ivory-colored root veggie with celery, onion, and garlic creates a savory, creamy and slightly sweet soup. Packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phyto-nutrients, this soup delivers added health benefits as we head into the chilly months ahead.

Creamy Parsnip Soup 

Serves 8-10

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 tablespoons thyme, minced

2 1/2 pounds of parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 chunks

4 cups  low-sodium chicken broth

4 cups water

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk (if needed)

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips

Thyme sprigs, for garnish

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and celery cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add butter, garlic and parsnips cook for about 4 minutes. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the parsnips are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the prosciutto and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until crisp, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the prosciutto to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Or alternatively, place on a baking sheet and broil for approximately 2 minute until slightly crisp, about 2 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Transfer the soup to a  saucepan. Stir in the cream (and milk, if needed), bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring a few times. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve. Garnish with the prosciutto and thyme leaves.

Adapted from: Food and Wine

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