Creamy Leek and Parsnip Soup
This soup has a kind of quiet charm. Whizzed until creamy in a blender, it is a happy marriage of silky leeks and earthy parsnips — think leek and potato soup, but with more depth of character. It’s very good made with water instead of broth; sautéing the leeks and parsnips very slowly, to concentrate flavor before adding liquid, is the key to success.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4large leeks, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 6medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 2teaspoons kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1bay leaf
- 1teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4garlic cloves, minced
- 6cups water, chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Extra-virgin olive oil, crème fraîche or yogurt, for garnish (optional)
Step 1Put olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks and parsnips, and stir to coat. Add the 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste.
Step 2Let vegetables sizzle and cook, stirring frequently until nearly caramelized, but without browning, until softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 3Add bay leaf, turmeric and garlic, and stir to coat. Increase heat to high, add water or broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes more. Taste broth and adjust seasoning.
Step 4With a blender, purée soup to a creamy consistency. (Small batches work best.) Thin with water or broth, if necessary — it should be like a thin milkshake, not thick and porridge-like.
Step 5Reheat the soup before serving. Serve plain, or give each bowl a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil or a dollop of crème fraîche or yogurt, if desired.