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Parsnip and Carrot Soup

Parsnip and Carrot Soup
Introduced to the United States from Europe in the early 17th century, the parsnip is a creamy white root vegetable similar in shape and sweetness to the carrot. The wintertime chill turns the parsnip¿s natural starch to sugar, giving it its distinctive sweetness. Look for parsnips that are small to medium; larger ones can have a coarse texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 lb. parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the yogurt garnish:

  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • About 2 Tbs. milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the parsnips, carrots, stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Using a blender and working in batches, puree the soup on high speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Strain through a chinois set over a clean soup pot and, using the pestle, press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Place over low heat and reheat to serving temperature. Season with salt and pepper.

While the soup is heating, make the yogurt garnish: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and enough milk to make a barely fluid paste. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle with the yogurt. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Winter, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).