Fall is the season of the root vegetable, and no root vegetable has been underestimated like the Parsnip. These sweet and savory gems resemble white carrots but have an earthy flavor all their own. They are great roasted, mashed with potatoes or sautéed, but they really shine in soups. When used in almost any soup they permeate it with a lush sweetness that adds depth as well as a rich flavor. This soup recipe is one that will impress, with a unique and rich flavor all its own. Great with a simple green salad and a hunk of crusty bread for lunch or a light dinner.
1.5 lbs parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cubed.
1 large onion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dry)
2 tbs creamy dijon mustard
1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
1/3 cup mascarpone (or 1/2 cup half and half)
1 tbs Olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
2 cups water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the onion along with a pinch of salt and sweat the until the onion is translucent, but not browned. Add the thyme, Parsnips, stock and water. Season with another pinch of salt. Cover the pot and raise the heat to high to bring to a boil, then crack the lid to release steam and lower to medium low and let simmer until the parsnips are tender, or about 30-40 minutes. Once Tender, blend the soup with an immersion blender or in the food processor in batches. You could also use a potato masher but that would result in a chunkier texture. I like it creamy smooth. Finally, stir in the mascarpone or half and half and the mustard and wisk into the soup of the heat. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley for a beautiful presentation.