YIELD: 4-6 servings
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter or non-dairy butter spread
- 1 pound of parsnips (about 3 medium), peeled and chopped
- 2 sweet-tart apples, such as Braeburn or Galas, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 large leek, rinsed well, white and pale green part chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
- 6 cups of vegetable stock or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit, toss the parsnips with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, toss in 2 sprigs of thyme. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
- In a large sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over low heat, add the leeks and a small pinch of salt, sweat the leeks for 15-20 minutes until they are very soft, making sure they do not brown.
- Add the apples, potatoes, bay leaf, 3-4 sprigs of thyme, roasted parsnips and stock to the leeks and bring to boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender. (TIP: Tie the thyme sprigs together with butcher string so it is easier to get the stems out)
- Remove the bayleaf and thyme stems, blend the soup until very smooth with an emersion blender, or carefully transfer to a standard blender in small batches. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency. The soup should be creamy and smooth, not too thick.
- If using a standard blender return soup to the pan over low heat, stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh thyme leaves. Soup can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stovetop over low heat.