37/50 Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup

Ingredients

2 c parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped (¾ lbs)

1 T olive oil

¼ + 1/8 t ground nutmeg

1/8 t salt

Dash pepper

1 ½ med pears, peeled and chopped

2 T butter, cubed

1 ½ med leeks (white portion only), thinly sliced

1 celery rib, chopped

1 ½ shallot, chopped

3 c chicken broth

2 T maple syrup

1 small bay leaf

½ t minced fresh thyme

¼ c heavy whipping cream

Topping:

½ T butter

½ med pear, thinly sliced

½ t brown sugar

Dash ground cumin

Dash ground coriander

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 425°. Place parsnips in a greased 15x10x1” baking pan; toss with oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Roast 25 minutes. Stir in pears; roast 15–20 minutes longer until tender, stirring occasionally.

2 In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks, celery and shallots; cook and stir 4–6 minutes until tender. Stir in parsnip mixture, broth, maple syrup, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

3 For topping, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients; cook and stir 2–4 minutes until pears are crisp-tender.

4 Remove bay leaf from soup. Puree; return to pan. Stir in cream; heat though. Top servings with sliced pears (and try crispy fried leek greens).

As I mentioned in my last post, it was a week of substitutions. My grocery store didn’t have leeks this week, so I used 3 shallots instead of 1 1/2 leeks and 1 1/2 shallots. I only used a pinch of nutmeg, because I’m not a fan of it in soups. And I subbed half-and-half for heavy cream. I left the original recipe here without editing in my adjustments, because I didn’t really end up making this soup. The reason why is that I hadn’t seen my sister in about a month, so we met to make it together. The other reason is that I don’t buy chicken broth, but I make it from the Better Than Bouillon line of concentrated products where 1 teaspoon of concentrate plus 1 cup of water makes 1 cup of broth. My sister uses this product too, so we’re usually really good at cooking together; we communicate well, have fun and get things done. But on occasion, 3 teaspoons turn into 3 tablespoons and the broth is made and goes into the soup and produces a soup that is way too salty. What happens then? Well, we start bulking up the soup to meet the salt content. I think a turnip went in and some carrots and a couple of cooked potatoes and more half-and-half and maybe some more water. I didn’t keep track. What I do know is that we had fun, we made a soup, and the topping of pears with the cumin and coriander was really good and shouldn’t be skipped if you make this soup…or a soup that’s kinda like this one but different.

If you’d like to see the original recipes my posts are based on or read Taste of Home’s article that inspired my 50 Soups in 25 Weeks blogging, go to: https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/soups-to-keep-you-warm-this-fall/.

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