Parsnip and Golden Beet Soup

Sherbrooke Record - - BROMECOUNTY - By Katie Work­man

With the ar­rival of fall, my pro­duce thoughts start mov­ing from things that grow above the ground to things that grow un­der it. Yes, my fel­low sea­sonal cooks, root veg­etable sea­son is head­ing our way.i al­ways feel a lit­tle like a home­steader when I cook with root veg­eta­bles. I think of 19th cen­tury fam­i­lies set­ting up homes out West, filling their root cel­lars with all kinds of tu­bers, ready­ing them­selves for the cold win­ter ahead. I sum­mon up my best Laura In­galls Wilder self as I con­tem­plate the piles of knobby, bumpy, of­ten dirty veg­eta­bles, know­ing that this is what the veg­e­tal land­scape is mostly made of un­til spring.

Ok, I’m clearly over-chan­nel­ing here, but there is some­thing about the hum­ble stur­di­ness of a root veg­etable that can be very pleas­ing, and even in­spir­ing.

First stop - soup! This soup high­lights the pale golden colours and slight sweet­ness of yel­low beets and parsnips. You could also use red beets and make this into a pink­ish-or­ange soup - which would be just gor­geous, too. And you could use car­rots in­stead of the parsnips, which will make the soup a more or­angey yel­low. In short, the colours of the root veg­eta­bles you choose will dic­tate the tint of your soup.

You can def­i­nitely leave out the cream if you don’t want it, and a lit­tle squirt of hot sauce is a bril­liant ad­di­tion at the end (but not too much - no point in over­pow­er­ing the del­i­cate sweet­ness of the veg­eta­bles).an­other great way to cook beets is in the oven, es­pe­cially if your oven is al­ready crank­ing for an­other rea­son. Pre­heat the oven to 400 F. Trim the tops and roots from the beets, give them a scrub, and then wrap them in foil. Place the foil-wrapped beets in a bak­ing dish and bake for about 45 min­utes to 1 hour, de­pend­ing on their size. When a knife slips into the beet eas­ily, it’s done.

And note that us­ing veg­etable broth gives you a vege­tar­ian soup.

PARSNIP AND GOLDEN BEET SOUP Serv­ings: 4

Start to fin­ish: 1 hour, 20 min­utes

1 1/2 pounds (about 4) golden beets 1/2 pound (about 4) parsnips, peeled and sliced

4 cups low-sodium veg­etable or chicken broth, or more as needed 1 tea­spoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serv­ing

1/2 cup heavy cream, light cream or half-and-half

Kosher salt and freshly ground pep­per to taste

Trim the tops and roots from the beets, and wash them thor­oughly, us­ing a brush if you have one. Place the beets in a saucepan and add cold wa­ter to cover. Cover the pot and bring to a sim­mer over medium-high heat. Re­duce the heat to medium and sim­mer the beets, cov­ered, for 20 to 30 min­utes un­til a sharp knife slides eas­ily into them. Drain the beets and al­low them to cool (you can also sub­merge them in cold wa­ter to speed the process). When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut the beets into chunks.mean­while, com­bine the parsnips with 4 cups broth in a pot and bring to a sim­mer over medium high heat. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium-low, and sim­mer for about 30 min­utes un­til the parsnips are very ten­der. Re­move the parsnips with a slot­ted spoon and place them in a food pro­ces­sor or blender with the cooked beets and 1 tea­spoon thyme. Add about 1/2 cup of the cook­ing broth and puree to­gether un­til smooth. Stir the veg­etable puree back into the pot with the re­main­ing broth.

Re­turn the soup to the pot over medium-low heat, stir in the cream, and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Add more broth if the soup is too thick. Stir for 1 minute to al­low the cream to warm through, taste and ad­just sea­son­ings as needed. Serve warm in bowls with a few thyme leaves sprin­kled over the top.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 227 calories; 104 calories from fat; 12 g fat (7 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 41 mg choles­terol; 388 mg sodium; 29 g car­bo­hy­drate; 8 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 5 g pro­tein.

Katie Work­man has writ­ten two cook­books fo­cused on easy, fam­ily-friendly cook­ing, “Din­ner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cook­book.” She blogs at . She can be reached at Katie?the­mom100.com.

(The As­so­ci­ated Press)

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