A creamy, comforting vegetarian soup that is incredibly simple to make with just a few ingredients, including the under-appreciated parsnip!
- 2 lbs parsnips, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (look for small parsnips which are more tender)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium Spanish onion, diced (or yellow onion if available)
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 1/2 quarts reduced-sodium vegetable broth, or homemade
- 1 bay leaf
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Toss parsnips, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together on a baking sheet. Spread the parsnips out evenly over the sheet and roast until tender and golden – about 30 minutes.
- Once parsnips are tender, remove from the oven and set aside.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until the onion is translucent – about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the vegetable broth, bay leaf and cooked parsnips and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer gently until the parsnips are very tender and fall apart easily – about 15 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf and pour the soup into a blender, filling pitcher only halfway as hot liquid tends to expand in a blender. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot.
- Warm the soup over low heat stirring occasionally until hot – about 5 minutes. Add water if you prefer a thinner consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.