Winter produce doesn’t have to dreary. With recipes like this one for rich roasted parsnip and sweet potato soup from Karol Lu, a competitive cooking veteran, you can dine like a king, even in the coldest months. Find this and other seasonal recipes in The Edible Brooklyn Cookbook.
Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup with Fresh Apple Salsa and Parsnip Crumbs
2 medium apples, peeled and cored, 1 grated and 1 finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely minced
1/2 small bunch cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped
Juice from 1 fresh lime
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 parsnips, peeled, 1 finely diced and 3 cut into medium dice
Smoked hot paprika
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups vegetable stock (up to 6 cups if omitting cream)
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. To make the salsa, mix the grated apple, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl. Add the lime juice, salt, and cayenne pepper to taste, and set aside.
3. To make the parsnip crumbs, coat a heavy-bottomed pot with an inch of oil and heat over medium until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the finely diced parsnip until lightly golden, about 3-5 minutes, and using a slotted spoon, lift out onto a paper towel. Season with salt and paprika to taste, and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the parsnips together with the sweet potatoes and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until soft. Set aside.
5. Melt the butter in a medium soup pot over medium heat, and saute the garlic and yellow onion until soft. Add the chopped apple, roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, cumin, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 4 cups vegetable stock and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
6. Let cool briefly, and carefully puree soup in batches using blender until very smooth. Mix in heavy cream, if using, and adjust seasonings to taste, adding more stock if needed to thin the soup out. (You could also omit the cream and add 1-2 cups more stock, to taste, instead.)
7. Serve the soup in individual bowls topped with salsa and a sprinkling of parsnip crumbs.