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Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Parsnip Chips

Though it’s made with ‘sweet’ vegetables, this soup is deliciously savoury, sure to delight diners whether served in small portions as a starter course for a dinner party, or ladled generously into large bowls to sup on, partnered with a hearty loaf. Either way, the very best part of this recipe is the the parsnip chips — no mere garnish, they make the recipe!

Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Parsnip Chips

¼ cup unsalted butter (4 tbs.)
1½ lbs. carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
¾ lb. parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 ¼ tsp. dried thyme
7½ cups chicken stock

For the parsnip chips:

½ cup very thin slices parsnip
5 tsp. canola oil

To serve:

1-2 tbs. chopped fresh chives

Melt the butter in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, parsnips, and leeks, and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme and sauté 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are very soft, stirring occasionally, 35-40 minutes. Purée soup with a stick blender, or in batches in a food processor. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To make parsnip chips, heat the canola oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the parsnip slices and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle over the parsnip chips and chives.

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