White Chocolate and Parsnip Soup with Dill, Lemon and Coco-Dusted Croutons
Courtesy of City Winery Executive Chef Garrett Pittler | Nashville, Tennessee
· 2 pounds parsnips
· Olive oil (to brush parsnips and bread)
· 4oz butter
· 1 large yellow onion, diced
· 2 quarts chicken stock
· 1 whole vanilla bean
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· 1 loaf brioche bread
· 1 tablespoon canola oil
· 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
· 5oz vanilla white chocolate
· 8oz heavy cream
· 1 fresh lemon, zested
· .75oz fresh dill, picked
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Peel parsnips and cut into 1-inch chunks, brush lightly with oil and place on a baking sheet lined with heavy duty aluminum foil (for easy cleanup). Roast until the parsnips begin to soften (as tested with a knife blade) and until the tips begin to turn golden brown, about 40 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes while you start the other ingredients in the stockpot. (Leave oven on for toasting the croutons.)
4. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large stockpot and gently sauté the onion until translucent. (This takes about 10 minutes, but the more important thing is that they look translucent.)
5. Add the chicken stock.
6. Slice open the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pot and add along with the vanilla pod itself.
7. Increase heat to medium, add the roasted parsnips and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, cover and let cook until the parsnips are completely tender, about 20 minutes.
8. Once you have the soup underway, toast the croutons in the oven, which is already preheated to 400 degrees F. Cut the loaf into 3/4-inch thick slices. Brush the bread with oil and place on a foil lined baking sheet (important for cleanup purposes).
9. Sift dark cocoa over the bread and toast briefly in the oven, just to make crispy. Remove and set aside.
10. Stir the white chocolate chips into the soup and cook for a further 5 minutes to allow them to melt and to integrate flavors.
11. Remove soup from heat, discard vanilla pod, and stir in heavy cream.
12. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. (Remember, when using an immersion blender, the blade end must be immersed or it will make a big mess.)
13. Squeeze fresh lemon into the pot and stir to combine.
14. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh dill. Serve with lemon zest and dark chocolate-dusted croutons.