Gay Cook’s creamy parsnip soup

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Serves 4 – 5

Parsnips are at their peak with a nutty and subtle peppery taste and are especially sweet in the winter. This is due to the starch in the parsnip converting to sugar when exposed to the cold in the autumn and winter.

  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1-inch (5 cm) fresh ginger partially frozen then finely grated
  • 6 – 7 (450 g) parsnips, well washed to remove earth in creases
  • 3 cups (750 mL) vegetable, chicken stock or water
  • 2½ cups (625 mL) milk with partial cream if desired
  • ½ small onion, chopped sauteed in 1 tsp (5 mL) butter
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped fresh dill or parsley

In a saucepan, melt butter and gently sauté onion, garlic, cumin and ginger until onion has softened but is not browned about 10 minutes. Stir in parsnips to coat well with garlic and spice then stir in stock and milk with some cream if desired. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

For garnish, sauté the onion in a little oil on medium-low heat until onions are golden brown. Set onions aside.

Puree the soup in a hand blender or food processor. Add lemon juice and taste to check seasoning for salt. Serve hot and garnish each soup bowl with a sprinkling sautéed onion and chopped dill or parsley.

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