A while back I bought some parsnips to use in a recipe and inadvertently bought twice as many as I actually needed. The parsnip puree I’d intended to make was delicious– light and creamy and earthily sweet, as parsnips are– but what was I supposed to do with the rest of them?
The answer came in the form of a line from my daughter’s copy of Tangled (okay, I admit it, it’s not her copy, we bought it before she was born because we liked it so much). In it, Mother Gothel returns to the tower, gleefully proclaiming that she’s got a surprise– parsnips! To make Rapunzel’s favorite hazelnut soup for dinner! Well, parsnip and hazelnut soup sounded delicious, and I had some leftover hazelnuts in the freezer just begging to be used, so it was time to get started!
I admit that I basically made up the recipe as I went along, tossing in whatever sounded like it would work and adjusting the seasoning as I went.
1 pound parsnips
1 small onion
1/2 cup hazelnuts
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup milk or half and half
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. honey
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Peel parsnips and cut into chunks. Toss with olive oil and roast in oven until tender with brown edges.
3. On a separate baking sheet, spread out hazelnuts and bake until lightly toasted, abut 5 minutes. Rub skins off with a towel, then pulse in food processor until finely ground.
3. Dice onion and saute in a medium pot in more olive oil with salt, pepper, and thyme, until tender.
4. Add roasted parsnips to sauteed onion, and add chicken stock. Using an immersion blender, pulse until reasonably smooth. Add milk and continue blending until smooth. If desired, add more liquid for a looser texture.
5. Add cider vinegar, honey, and more salt and pepper to taste.
This soup is sweet and earthy– good for a starter, but probably not hearty enough for a full meal without something on the side. Still, not bad for a thrown-together recipe!
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