This white, autumnal root vegetable looks quite like a white carrot with it’s wide stem side, long tapered body, and wiry tail. Like a carrot, its naturally warm, earthy flavor comes alive in a soup.
I cook the parsnips simply, with butter, onions, celery and stock, then blend the mixture into a velvety and utterly satisfying puree.
Feel free to adjust the recipe into a vegetarian one by replacing the chicken stock with water or vegetable stock. Quite affordable, you can find parsnips at most grocery stores all year round, but look for them at your local farmer’s markets this fall.
*This article and my original recipe was originally published in The Riverdale Press column What's Cooking
Serving Size: 6-8
4 cups chopped yellow onion (about 2 large onions)
4 oz. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
3 ½ lbs. Parsnips, peeled and sliced into ½” pcs.
1 cup celery, cut into 1/2” pcs.
Kosher salt, to taste
6 cups chicken stock
Toasted sliced almonds, for serving
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Sprig fresh thyme
Freshly cracked black pepper, for serving
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions. Cover and sweat for 10 minutes until glistening and translucent. Lower the heat if the onions begin to color.
Add the celery and parsnip and season with salt. Stir well and cover. Continue to cook another 10 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add the stock, bring to a simmer and cook until the parsnip is easily pierced with a knife, about 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add a sprig of thyme. Allow the soup to rest for 10 minutes, remove thyme and blend in batches until velvety and smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt, cayenne and if desired you can thin out the consistency with a little additional stock or water.
Serve piping hot in bowls topped with freshly cracked pepper and toasted almonds. You can also cool the soup down and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
To toast the almonds, preheat oven to 350 F and bake on a sheet tray for 5-7 minutes or until light golden brown.