Baby, it's cold outside!
While most American's are listening to this Dean Martin song to get into the Yuletime spirit, for us, it is just cold outside! Nothing warms you up better than a hot, rich soup.
This past Shabbat I was feeling like soup was in order. I wanted to do something different - I always feel the need to make something unique when I have guests. This roasted parsnip and mushroom soup was perfect. It is rich and creamy (without cream - it's parve!). I happen to love parsnip and I am always looking for new ways to use it; and when it is all blended together, the parsnips create a thick creamy texture to the soup. I roasted the parsnip first to release all of its sweetness and the mushrooms complement the earthy taste. My husband, who does not like mushrooms, loved this soup - and went for seconds!
Roasted Parsnip and Mushroom Soup
4 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into rounds
1 package sliced button mushrooms
1 package sliced crimini mushrooms
4 - 5 cups water
3 - 4 tbsp. chicken flavored bouillion
1 - 2 tsp. oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for serving
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and slice parsnips. Arrange on baking sheet and roast in oven for about 30 minutes, until soften and sweet smelling. Meanwhile, chop and sauté onion until translucent, add mushrooms and continue to sauté until browned and the mushrooms reduce in size. Add roasted parsnip and sauté briefly to blend the flavors. Add bouillion to boiling water to dissolve and add to the mushroom and parsnip mixture (alternatives are to use prepared chicken broth or vegetable broth. I find the bouillion to be salty which is why I use more water and less bouillion than recommended on the package). After vegetables have cooked in the water for a few minutes, turn off heat. Using an immersion blender, blend soup to a thick puree.
If you prefer more texture to your soup, remove some of the cooked mushrooms before adding broth. After pureeing, add the mushrooms back to the pot.
Top with a generous amount of chopped parsley to serve. The parsley give the soup a burst of freshness that cuts through the richness of the soup nicely.