Roasted parsnips and garlic, sauteed shallots and stock, with a little help from a pinch of thyme, is all you need to make a creamy, delicious soup that can be put together in just over a half hour. Your choice of toppings makes a lovely presentation.
If you have served roasted parsnips for your Thanksgiving meal, simply skip Steps 1 and 2. Roast some garlic in your toaster oven, and proceed with the recipe. —Bevi
4 or 5
large parsnips, peeled and chopped into 2-inch spears. Slice the thick ends in half as well
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the parsnips and unpeeled garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Top with 2 TBS. olive oil, salt and pepper and use clean hands to mix thoroughly so the olive oil covers the vegetables. Place in the oven.
After 15 minutes, turn parsnips with a spatula. Roast another 10 to 15 minutes, until the parsnips are fork tender and browned. Take out of oven and set aside. When the garlic cloves are slightly cooled, squeeze the softened garlic out of their skins.
In the meantime, pour the remaining 1 TBS. olive oil into a 3 quart saucepan, and sauté the diced shallot over medium heat. Add the generous pinch of thyme, and stir and cook until the shallots are slightly browned - about 3 minutes.
Add 2 cups of stock to the saucepan, and simmer for a few minutes, until the stock mixture is heated through. Then, add the garlic and parsnips. Simmer for a few more minutes.
Place the entire mixture in a food processor or high powered blender. The mixture will blend into a nice puree. At this point, you can serve as a puree, with a nice piece of grilled chicken, fish, or cauliflower steak atop.
For soup, slowly add up to 2 more cups of stock to the blender to achieve the desired consistency. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with sautéed, diced pancetta, or crisp bacon pieces, or dukkah, or shaved parmesan cheese, or a choice of chopped fresh herbs. Your preference!