I find inspiration in your blogs, thank you! A few weeks ago, my Hungarian friend Zsuzsa prepared a very beautiful Leek and Potato soup that looked so gorgeous and creamy, I knew I wanted to make it for a dinner we had with my nephew Brian. But I was lazy because I didn’t feel like heading out to buy potatoes, so I used what I had which were parsnips (I had three left over from a chicken soup I made to help combat our persistent colds)! When ever I see leeks on sale, I buy a few bunches and slice them into thin slices and freeze on a cookie sheet and then transfer them to a plastic baggy, that way I have leeks when ever I need them, and I needed them for this!
I was surprised at how well the parsnips replaced the potato, adding just a touch of sweetness to the soup (by oven roasting them) and not compromising the creamy texture that potatoes generally add. Parsnips have slightly fewer carbohydrates than potatoes but they also contain fibre, and potatoes do not; they are also effectively lower on the glycemic index (for a similar weights, a potato can be 56-110 where the parsnip is a lowly 10!). I think I have found my new vegetable combo for this traditional soup!
Creamed Leek and Parsnip Soup
Makes around 1000 mL or 4 quarts, depending on how thick you want the soup.
- 200 g (about 1.5 cups) parsnips, peeled and cut into relatively equal chunks
- 100 g (about 1 cup) onions, cut into large slices
- 250 g (about 1 1/2 cups) leeks, finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- sea salt to taste
- 4-6 cups low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you wish to make this vegetarian)
- non-stick spray
- 2-3 tbsp crispy fried chopped chorizo (omit for vegetarian version)
- Parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 177°C or 350°F. Give a small pan a couple of squirts of non-stick spray and roast the parsnips and the onions until soft.
- In a small ramekin with 2 tbsp EVOO, add the unpeeled garlic and a good pinch of sea salt. Cover with aluminum foil and roast along side of the parsnips.
- Spray a couple of squirts of non-stick spray into a good size soup pot (one that will take at least 1000 mL or 4 quarts). Cook the leeks until softened.
- When the garlic is soft enough to easily push a fork through, remove and pop out of the peel (be careful, it’s really hot). The parsnips and onions are done when they are soft enough to push a fork through as well.
- Remove the leek pot from heat and add the roasted parsnips, onion and roasted garlic (including the oil) to the leek pot. To start, add 2 cups of stock and begin blending with an immersion blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more stock until the desired thickness is achieved. Taste and salt as desired, keeping in mind that the chorizo and Parmesan will add a certain amount of saltiness to it.
- To ensure a super velvety texture, press the soup through a fine sieve. Take the bits left over in the sieve and put into the immersion blender container and add a cup or two of the strained soup. Blend again for a couple of minutes (you will be surprised at how much additional thick soup you can get out of this). Press through a fine sieve into the soup. The left over pulp can be a tasty treat if you don’t mind the texture!
- To crispy fry the Chorizo, chop into small pieces and in about 1 tsp of canola oil, fry the bits until crispy. Blot on paper towel to remove the oil.
- Warm the bowls in a low temperature oven and reheat the soup (I usually reheat in my Microwave); run the immersion blender through it one last time before serving (our chef in Lyon suggested this aerates the soup and makes it even lighter in the mouth!).
- Ladle the soup into each bowl and grate about 1 tsp of Parmesan cheese onto the centre, add about a tsp of crispy fried Chorizo. Serve while hot.