Mother Nature is having a good laugh, that’s for sure. One weekend it’ll be beautiful, a perfect 70 degrees and a periwinkle sky. Then, in what feels like a cruel trick, Monday comes along complete with rain, dreary skies, and even threats of snow flurries. I thought I left the whole springtime-snow thing back in Colorado. Guess I was wrong.
Needless to say, with bi-polar weather like this, soup season isn’t quite over yet.
I found this recipe on Pinterest, which has almost completely replaced food magazines in my weekly meal planning endeavors. This soup caught my eye immediately, despite the fact that it was, well, soup.
Try as I might, I’m just not a soup person. After years of being wholly unsatisfied by soup, I’ve realized that I just need something to chew. I have the same lacking feeling when I try to make a meal out of a fruit smoothie. Just not happening. Probably why you’ll never see me do a juice fast. 3 days with nothing to chew? No thank you.
This soup, however, was delightful. Paired with a drizzle of sage lemon butter (don’t skip it – it’s the best part), and some sliced focaccia bread, and I could start to understand why people love soup so much.
The sunny hue of this soup comes from the vegetable broth that we used (Trader Joe’s brand is clearly heavy on the carrots); the original calls for chicken broth, and as a result the soup is more beige than orange. Either way, the flavors are both mild and robust at the same time. Rich and creamy, and yet surprisingly light. You’d think that 3 whole heads of roasted garlic would be enough to keep the vampires away for days (let alone your spouse), but it’s not at all overpowering.
It’s perfect, no matter what the weather happens to be doing.
Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup with Sage Lemon Butter
3 garlic heads, tops cut off to reveal cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
6 large parsnips (about 2 1/2 pounds), cores removed, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
Sage Lemon Butter:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (loosely packed) sage leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place garlic on a large square of foil, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and wrap to enclose. Place on a baking sheet and roast until soft, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic cloves from skin and set aside. Discard skins.
Meanwhile, heat butter and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and stir until translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add stock and parsnip pieces and bring to a boil; cover and simmer until parsnip is very tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add garlic cloves and cream and purée with a hand-held blender, or in batches in a countertop blender (be cautious blending hot liquids). When smooth, return to saucepan and season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and lemon juice; keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat butter in a frying pan over medium heat until foamy. Add sage leaves and fry until crisp (about 1 to 2 minutes ), then transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel plate lined plate. Add lemon juice to pan with butter and remove from heat.
Divide soup among bowls, and serve topped with crisp sage leaves and a drizzle of lemon butter.