A great fall soup from Grant:
I was attending the farmers market one morning in early October and I wanted to purchase a variety of locally grown root vegetables. I remember having parsnips as a child from my grandfather's garden and I always liked them. Sometimes they are difficult to find, and off season parsnips are covered with wax for preservation purposes. They often don't taste very fresh. These were very nice so I purchased some, along with some carrots, beets, and turnips, among other things. The farmers market during the Fall is a great time to stock up on those winter hardy items that store so well. Onions, squash, pumpkins, and cabbage are treats to savor as the crowds begin to thin out with the cooler weather.
Parsnips are related to carrots, but are more pale, usually yellow or whitish. The flavor is stronger than a carrot with more sweetness, when cooked, and a more unique taste. They lend great character to stews and soups and are very good on their own. They take a little longer to cook, and as with any vegetable, oven roasting brings the sweetness and flavor to the forefront. Parsnips are native to Eurasia, and are richer in vitamins and minerals than the carrot.
Those beautiful parsnips were staring me in the face when I looked into the vegetable drawer one afternoon, so I decided to make some soup.
Roasted Parsnip and Carrot Soup
To start, I peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks:
1 1/2 cups parsnips
1 1/2 cups carrots
3/4 cup onions
Then tossed them in a bowl with:
3 Tablespoons Olive oil
Placed on a sheet pan and sprinkled with:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
Roasted them in a 375 degree oven until slightly brown and tender, about 35 minutes.
Placed vegetables in a saucepan and added:
1 cup of chicken stock and two stems of fresh thyme.
Brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer; cooked until vegetables were very tender. About 20 minutes.
I removed the thyme and placed it all into a blender and pureed it until smooth.
I added 1 1/2 cups of milk and a 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
You could use any combination of each, depending on how rich you like your soup.
I heated it through and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. Made 4 cups.
Sweet creamy goodness.