We are at the height of root vegetable season, and parsnips are one of my favorites. If you’ve never tried them they are really quite special. They look like a creamy, white carrot. They taste like a cross between a carrot and celery root. You can’t really eat them raw since they tend to be a bit woody, but cooked they are mellow and delicious. You can boil them and mash them with butter like a potato. You can slice them into fries and bake them, you can throw them into any roasted vegetable medley. Or, you can roast them and turn them into a creamy, velvety soup. The idea for this soup came from my mom. She visited a newish Italian restaurant in Portland called Mucca Osteria where she enjoyed a parsnip soup with truffle oil. She described the soup to me and this is my interpretation. I have no idea if it comes close, but it was darn tasty!
- 4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. butter
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
- salt and pepper
- 3-4 C. chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 C. cream
- chives for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the parsnips with the olive oil and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until tender and golden brown in places, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, potato, and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat, cover and sweat for ten minutes. Remove the cover, pour in 3 C. of the stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil until the vegetables are tender, about five minutes. Add the roasted parsnips. Use an immersion blender to puree to a smooth, creamy consistency. Stir in the cream. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more broth to thin it. Serve with fresh, chopped chives on top.