Parsnip and Potato Soup With Crisp Diced Bacon
- From Roots: The Definitive Compendium by Diane Morgan (Chronicle Books, 2012)8 serving(s)
3 fresh thyme springs
3 fresh flat-leaf parsley springs
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup dry sherry
6 cups homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Kosher or fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1. Cut an 8-inch square of cheesecloth and place the thyme, parsley, and bay leaves in the center to make a bouquet garni. Bring up the edges to form a bag and tie securely with kitchen twine. Set aside.
2. In a stockpot or heavy soup pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat and swirl to coat the pot bottom. Add the onion, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the parsnips and potatoes and cook, stirring constantly, until well coated with butter, about 2 minutes. Add the sherry, raise the heat to medium-high, and saute the vegetables, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the stock and the bouquet garni to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork and soft enough to puree, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Discard the bouquet garni. Working in batches, process the soup to a smooth puree in a blender or food processor. Return the pureed soup to the pot, place over low heat, and add the cream. Warm the soup until steaming hot. Do not allow to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
4. Line a plate with paper towels. In a frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the towel-lined plate to drain.
5. Ladle the soup into a warmed tureen or individual bowls, garnish with the bacon, and serve immediately.
Per serving: 283 calories, 7 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams sugar, 17 grams fat, 48 milligrams cholesterol, 878 milligrams sodium, 6 grams dietary fiber.