04 Mar 2007 07:50 pm
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch square
5 cloves garlic, peeled and stem end cut off
3 to 4 tbl olive oil
1 medium-sized whit e onion, chopped
3 to 4 cups good quality chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 large bay leaf
1/2 cup half-n-half (if desired)
salt, and freshly grated black pepper to taste
Toss the parsnips and garlic cloves with 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pour into a heavy-bottomed roasting pan or cast-iron skillet. Place into a 350º oven. Roast until parsnips and garlic are soft, approx. 20 minutes.
In a 2 to 3 quart saucepan, heat remaining olive oil until shimmering and fragrant. Add onion and cook until translucent, approx. 5 to 8 minutes. Add roasted parsnips and garlic and stir, then add chicken stock to cover and bay leaf. Heat just until boiling then remove from heat. Allow to cool until still soup is still hot but bottom of the pan is cool enough to touch.
Pour mixture into blender or food processor and, working in batches if necessary, puree until smooth (adding stock if needed to allow mixture to puree uniformly). Return to pot. Add stock until desired consistency is reached; if a creamed soup is desired, add half-n-half. Heat slowly until barely simmering. Season to taste with salt and pepper .