Soup is often under appreciated. In my opinion, the soup course is the most important as these are the first bites your guests will take of your food. Your soup will set the tone of the dinner and often will be most remembered item you prepared due to their fresh palates. Similar to a preview for a film, it should excite and invite a desire to invest in a multi-course meal.
This soup is one of my top recipes and can be prepared 1-2 days beforehand. This could be a perfect first course for a holiday dinner or just a cozy night in. It is smooth, comforting and a bit sweet due to the apples. Parsnips add an earthy depth to the soup. Parsnips are featured in many Ashkenazi recipes and were a staple in the European Jewish Kitchen.
– 1 Yellow onion diced
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Toss together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and half the salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan or baking sheet. Cook for 40 minutes turning the parsnips if needed. Parsnips should look caramelized on both sides.
2) Place the remainder of the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and leek. Cook for 5-7 minutes until onions become translucent.
3) Add roasted parsnips, potato, apples, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer for 30 minutes until tender.
4) Puree the soup either in a blender or with a wand (This is the most handy kitchen item I have!) Serve soup with optional toppings: croutons, chives or mint leaves.