January has a wealth of month long food related celebrations including being National Soup Month. Soup is perfect for the cold winter days we’ve been experiencing in New York recently. In honor of National Soup Month, I made a Creamy Parsnip Soup. Parsnips are cream colored root vegetables that are closely related to carrots. They have a sweet, nutty flavor and are high in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Parsnips, like other root vegetables, are in their peak season Fall through Spring. We rarely cook with parsnips and the kids did not remember ever trying them, when we told them we were having Creamy Parsnip Soup. The below recipe uses parsnips, apples, potato and leeks, all of which are in peak season, which makes this a seasonally appropriate soup. The apples and parsnips give the soup a sweet flavor. While the kids didn’t love this soup, they both finished their serving. The adults thought this was tasty. We served this soup with Italian Herb Muffins to round out the meal.
Creamy Parsnip Soup
Recipe slightly adapted from Every Day Food, November 2005
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound prepared sliced leeks (2 cups)
1 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium baking potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
1.Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup to garnish soup.
2.Add parsnips, apples, potato, broth, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
3.Use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth. If you don’t have a stick blender, working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth and return to the pot. Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Leek Garnish.