This delicious Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup would make a great starter course for entertaining but is hearty enough to make a meal.
I was gifted a jar of this fabulous fall soup by a friend during a very hectic period this fall. She got the recipe from Epicurious. I can tell you – I will be making this myself again and again!
Parsnips are in the same category as cilantro in my mind – you either love ’em or hate ’em. I happen to like them, especially when they are mixed with carrots. In this soup if you didn’t know there were parsnips you would not be able to put your finger on it.
You can’t actually pick out any one flavour – not the pear, or leeks – but the overall effect is a bit of an earthy sweetness that you only get from roasted root vegetables.
So, if you are looking for a great fall soup or impressive fall appetizer – read on!
The soup as per the recipe is quite thick as you can see in the photo. Feel free to increase the cream or broth to taste if you prefer a thinner consistency.
- 1 1/2 lbs parsnips
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 3 medium pears
- 3 medium leeks white parts only
- 2 celery stalks rough chopped
- 3 shallots rough chopped
- 1/4 cup butter
- 6 cups chicken stock Substitute vegetable broth for vegetarian
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel and rough chop parnsips. Toss them with olive oil, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Roast on a large greased baking sheet uncovered, about 25 minutes. Stir mid-way.
- While parnsips are roasting peel and rough chop the pears. Add the pears to the roasting parsnips at the end of the 25 minutes reference above. Continue to roast parsnips and pears another 20-25 minutes until parsnips are tender. Stir occasionally.
- In a large dutch oven (5 qts or more) melt butter. Clean and thinly slice the leeks, white portion only. Add the leeks, shallots and celery to the butter and sauté about 6 minutes.
- Add the broth, bay leaf and thyme to the pot. Add the roasted parsnips and pears. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly. You can pureé the mixture with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.
- Add cream and bring mixture back to serving temperature.
- Note: You can freeze the pureé and add the cream when reheating just before serving.