Friday night, my friends Stacey and Jon came over for dinner before we headed out to a David Wilcox concert. I met Stacey ten years ago at Holden Village, a remote retreat community where I lived for 6 months. Holden is a place of spirit and relationships and mealtimes were a highlight of each day because of the wonderful food and conversation that happened around the table.
Lunch at Holden was usually homeade soup, warm bread fresh from the oven and green salad. So when Stacey and Jon agreed to stop by for dinner before the show, I knew that a simple Holden meal was just the thing…And BOY, was it! I think the company amplified the lovely meal, but the parsnip soup worked far better than I had initially thought. Roasting the parsnips before making the soup brought out some of the sweetness in this earthy root, and the leeks added a lovely mellow savoriness, while the potatoes added some body to the soup. The addition of the sherry added just a hint of brightness to boost the flavors just a touch.
If you’ve got parsnips lingering in your crisper, give this one a try, and share it with some dear friends for a perfect evening.
Roasted Parsnip Soup
5 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup half & half
3 oz goat cheese
1 T olive oil
1 T bacon grease (or olive oil)
4 cups parsnips, peeled and cubed
3 leeks, sliced
3/4 cup dry sherry
2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste
Garnishes: parsley & crumbled bacon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a sheet pan, and pour the cubed parsnips onto the pan, and toss with 1 T olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, then stir the parsnips and roast for 20 more minutes before removing from the oven.
- While the parsnips are roasting, make the rest of the soup. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add 1 T of bacon fat or olive oil. Add the sliced leeks, and saute for a few minutes, until they begin to soften. Add in the potatoes, rosemary, thyme and garlic, and stir for a minute, until you can smell the garlic and herbs.
- Add the chicken stock, sherry and the parsnips when they are done roasting. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the potatoes are tender, grab your immersion blender and puree the soup until smooth. Add the half & half and goat cheese, then taste, and add salt & pepper to taste. If you think the soup needs another shot of sherry to brighten the soup, go for it.
- Garnish each bowl with some minced parsley and a bit of crumbled bacon.
350 cal/bowl, 100 cal from fat, 11.4g fat, 25mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 890mg potassium, 40g carbs, 6g fiber, 10g sugars