Parsnip soup with hazelnut and thyme but­ter SERVES 4-6

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Sydney Review -

This creamy soup is sub­tly flavoured with warm­ing spices and given tex­ture with a nutty brown-but­ter top­ping. It’s worth mak­ing a dou­ble batch and freez­ing ex­tra for quick lunches. 100 gm cold but­ter, coarsely chopped

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

6 thyme sprigs, plus

1 tbsp thyme leaves

2 star anise

½ cin­na­mon quill

3 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock 800 gm parn­sips (about 4 large), cut into 1cm pieces

50 gm roasted hazel­nuts

300 ml pour­ing cream

Toasted and but­tered sour­dough, to serve 1

Heat half the but­ter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, thyme sprigs, star anise and cin­na­mon, and cook, stir­ring of­ten, un­til leek is soft­ened (6-7 min­utes). Add two-thirds of the gar­lic and cook, stir­ring con­tin­u­ously, un­til fra­grant (1 minute). Add stock and parsnip, sea­son to taste and bring to the boil, then re­duce heat to medium and sim­mer, cov­ered, un­til parsnip is very ten­der (15-18 min­utes).

2 Mean­while, cook re­main­ing but­ter in a small saucepan un­til foam­ing and nut brown

(3-4 min­utes), then stir in thyme leaves and re­main­ing gar­lic. Trans­fer to a food pro­ces­sor with hazel­nuts and process un­til nuts are coarsely chopped. Sea­son to taste.

3 Stir cream into soup, dis­card thyme sprigs and spices, then blend soup with a hand-held blender un­til very smooth.

Top with hazelnut but­ter and serve with toasted sour­dough.

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