Roasted Parsnip Soup
- 1 pound parsnip peeled, and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked white pepper
- 1/4 cup diced ham
- 1 cup small-diced onion
- 1/2 cup small-diced carrots
- 1/2 cup small-diced celery
- 1/2 cup small-diced leeks
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 5 1/2 quarts chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon freshly-chopped thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the chopped parsnips into a medium-size mixing bowl. Drizzle the parsnips with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of fresh cracked white pepper. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place the parsnips on top of the sheet pan. Set the sheet pan into the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the parsnips are lightly caramelized and tender.
Remove the parsnips from the oven and set aside. Place a 1-gallon saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and caramelize the ham. Cook, stirring often until the meat is caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery and leeks in the pan and sweat, stirring often for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and sweat for 1 minute stirring continuously. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and add the chicken stock to the pan. Place the parsnips in the pan with the honey and thyme.
Bring the pan to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook the soup for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are all tender. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth consistency and velvety texture. Alternately, you can puree the soup in batches using a blender. Taste the soup and re-season if necessary with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add the cream to the soup and return the soup to a clean saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve.
This recipe yields about 1 1/2 quarts