Creamy Parsnip Soup
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This one pot creamy soup features local parsnips, making it taste like a subtly sweeter take on potato soup! Garnished with crispy bacon, this dish is perfect for lunch on a cold day or dinner with a side of salad or a sandwich.
6-8 pieces of sliced bacon
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 pounds of parsnips - trimmed, peeled, and roughly cut into 1" pieces
2 large leeks - white and light green parts, rinsed, and thinly sliced
2 large ribs of celery - diced
2 large cloves of garlic - peeled and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup of dry white wine
5 1/2 cups of No-Sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 Parmesan rind - plus 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan
3/4 cup of heavy cream
Kosher salt and pepper - to taste
1. Cook the Bacon: Place a large stockpot or dutch oven on the stove, but don't turn on the heat. Add the diced bacon to the cold pot. Turn heat to between medium to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
2. Sauté the Vegetables: Keep 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pot (if you don't have the full 3 tablespoons, add butter to supplement). Over medium heat, add the parsnips, leeks, and celery, stirring frequently until golden and softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic, thyme, and nutmeg. Season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add the Liquids: Add in the wine to deglaze the pan. Cook, stirring for 1 minute or until the wine is evaporated. Add in the stock, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the parsnips are very soft, about 25-30 minutes.
4. Puree: Use tongs to remove and discard the bay leaf and Parmesan rind. Turn off the heat and puree the soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth.
5. Add the Cream: Turn the heat under the soup to medium-low. Stir in the heavy cream and grated Parmesan cheese, Cook, stirring until warm throughout, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
6. Serve: Crumble the crispy bacon and add it as a garnish on top of the soup.
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