Parsnips can sometimes have tough, fibrous cores, especially if they are late in the season. If as you are cutting your parsnips you find the cores to be especially tough, cut them out and discard.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced lengthwise, cleaned, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 2 strips lemon zest, 1 x 2 inches each
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley (reserve a little for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pepper to taste
1 Cook leeks in butter: Heat butter in a 4 to 6 quart pot on medium heat. Add the chopped leeks, toss to coat with the butter. When the leeks are heated enough so they begin to sizzle in the pan, lower the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until soft, but don't let the leeks brown.
2 Add parsnips, oil, salt, stock, water, zest: Add the parsnips and olive oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the salt. Add the stock and water. Add the strips of lemon zest.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the parsnips are completely tender, at least 30 minutes.
3 Remove and discard the lemon zest. Add the parsley. Purée the soup until smooth, either by using an immersion blender or by working in batches with a stand-up blender. If using a standing blender, fill the bowl no more than halfway, hold the cover on the blender bowl, and start blending at the lowest speed. Return the puréed soup to the pot.
4 Stir in lemon juice and add more salt to taste, if needed.
Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, a little olive oil, and chopped parsley or chives.