This makes a really pretty dish for a special occasion. The soup itself is creamy white, then you top it with slivered roasted beets and chopped chives or parsley for a gorgeous pop of color. The best part is that it’s not difficult to make, but your friends will think you slaved over a hot stove for hours! You can even cook the base a day or two ahead, and simply add the half-and-half and reheat before serving.
Winter White Vegetable Soup
- 2 medium size beets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, rough chopped
- 2 leeks - white part only - cut into 1/2-inch rings
- 2 parsnips
- 1 medium size turnip
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (If you don't have white, use black - it's barely noticeable)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- Fresh chives or parsley for garnish
Wash the beets and cut in half. Toss with olive oil and put on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until they test as cooked through. Allow to cool, then peel skin off and cut beets into slivers.
Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions and leeks and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
Peel the parsnips, turnip and potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Add the chicken stock to the pot. Add parsnips, turnip and potatoes, salt and white pepper. Make sure there is enough stock to cover - if not add water. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and add nutmeg and milk. Either puree in small batches in a food processor or use a hand blender. Process until smooth. Start stirring in the half-and-half until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt if needed. Reheat, but do not allow it to boil. Serve each bowl with a tablespoon of slivered beets and a sprinkle of chopped chives or parsley.