Rapunzel’s Favorite

I’m so grateful to this woman. My daughter’s been begging for this soup!

This one goes out to all those other families out there, like mine, with Disney dvd’s seemingly on an endless loop… they must be getting into my subconscious.

Do you remember that scene at the beginning of Tangled, where Rapunzel is so excited to tell Mother Gothel what she wants for her 18th birthday?  Mother Gothel wants nothing of it, and keeps trying to sidetrack Rapunzel with her favorite.  “I’ve got parsnips!”, she sing-songs, “I’m going to make your favorite, hazelnut soup!”

Sounds delicious to me…

Well, Mother Gothel was not giving that recipe up, (I’m pretty sure she plunged from that tower to her death…) so I had to get creative.

Incidentally, this soup would be a perfect compliment to my brie, pear, sage, and bacon grilled cheese.

Parsnip Soup with Hazelnut Sage Brown Butter

2 leeks
8 medium-sized parsnips
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk, preferably whole
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup hazlenuts (sometimes called filberts)
2 sprigs fresh sage

Start by removing the tough, grungy looking tops of your leeks.

Now run your knife down the length of the leek.

It’s pretty scuzzy in there.

Not appetizing.  But don’t worry, it’s an easy fix.  Chop the halved leeks crosswise and put them in a big bowl.  Now fill the bowl with cold water.

Swish it all around with your hands and then just let that sit a spell, (all the grit will fall to the bottom of the bowl), and start on the parsnips.   Peel them with a veggie peeler and then chop them into pieces.

If you’ve never had a parsnip, it tastes like a really intense carrot, with a little peppery bite to it.  Very sweet and very seasonal right now, if you like to do that seasonal thang..

Put the parsnips into the hot oil in a large saucepan and let them soften up and get a little browned.

Now fish the leeks out of their cool bath and add them to the pot.   When you see their color start to go brighter, pour in the stock.

Clap on a lid and let it just simmer away for a half-hour or so, or until those parsnips are falling-apart tender.

Grab your immersion blender and whiz it all up with the milk.

Give it a few scratches of fresh nutmeg and some salt and pep.

Now it’s time to start the brown butter, which, I might add, makes this soup.   Toast the hazelnuts.

I like to do mine in the toaster oven, but if you don’t have one, you can just roll them around in a dry pan over a medium heat.  You can tell when they’re done because they grab you by the nose.

Put the butter in a saute pan and start it melting on a medium heat.  Meanwhile, give the nuts a rough chop.

When the butter starts foaming and sizzling, just throw in the hazelnuts and the sage.  Now it’s really going to get angry…

It makes a lot of noise but it’s just a harmless pussycat.

When the butter has calmed itself down, you might notice it has mellowed out to a toasty brown color.  Drizzle some over your bowl of silky parsnip goodness…

…and they all lived happily ever after…

Click here for an awesome accompaniment:  Brie, Pear, Sage, and Bacon Grilled Cheese

and click here for a printable 4×6 recipe card:  Parsnip Soup with Hazelnut Sage Brown Butter Recipe Card

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