Serves: 7 - 8
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 large leeks (about 2 cups, coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
2 ½ pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
½ cup half and half
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices thick bacon, pan-cooked or microwaved crisp, drained and crumbled
3 heaping tablespoons minced chives
1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot with one tablespoon of olive oil over low heat. Add the leeks and cook gently until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the broth, parsnipsand thyme to the soup pot, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cover. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, until the parsnips are very tender.
3. Remove thyme sprigs
4. Working carefully and in batches with the hot liquid, puree the soup in a blender or processor until very smooth. Transfer each batch of soup to a single clean soup pot.
5. Whisk in the half and half and the milk. Bring to a simmer over low to moderate heat, stirring frequently.
6. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the bacon and chives before serving.
ADVANCED PREP: The soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently.