Yield: 8 1-Cup Servings
Once the holidays are over, keep this warming root vegetable soup in your repertoire as a vegan lunch option. This soup may also be made a day or two ahead of your holiday dinner, and reheated on the stovetop.
• 1 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 pound parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, well-washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 4 cups vegetable broth, divided (3 cups and 1 cup)
• kosher salt
• freshly ground black pepper Optional garnish:
• 1/2 cup crème fraiche, divided (1 tablespoon per serving)
• 1/4 cup chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the carrots and parsnips with the olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Transfer to a 9-by-13 baking sheet, being sure that all of the vegetables are in one layer. Bake on the middle rack until they are lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes, turning the carrots and parsnips over midway through the cooking time to ensure even browning.
While the carrots and parsnips roast, prepare the leeks. Leeks are notorious for trapping dirt within those lovely concentric rings of theirs, so you will want to cut them across the grain and then into 1-inch pieces. Once the cutting is done, agitate them in a bowl of water to remove the dirt from within.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the leeks. Sauté the leeks until they are softened and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the carrots, parsnips and three cups of vegetable broth to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Allow to cool to lukewarm, then work in small batches to puree the carrot-parsnip mixture until smooth, adding reserved vegetable broth as needed to facilitate the puréeing process.
Transfer puréed batches to a large bowl (at least 8-cup capacity) and continue to purée the remaining soup.
Return the purée to the saucepan, season with salt and pepper, and reheat over medium heat prior to serving.
Top each bowl with a tablespoon of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of chopped chives, and serve it.