Paula Recommends …Parsnip Carrot Soup w/ Tarragon

Hello Autumn! Parsnips contribute sweetness and texture to this fragrant, nutrient-packed soup.  Parsnips are high in vitamins and minerals (especially potassium) along with antioxidants and both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Carrots get their characteristic, bright orange color from B carotene, and are a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6. – Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist

1 Tablespoon extra virgin oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, white and light green part only, halved length-
wise, cleaned and sliced or chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
1 lb parsnips, peeled, quartered, cored and diced
2 quarts water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
A bouquet garnish made with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs each tarragon, thyme and parsley
Plain yogurt for garnish
2 Tablespoons finely chopped tarragon

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion, leek and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 min.
2. Add the carrots, parsnips and a generous pinch of salt, cover partially and cook for another 5-10 min, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant.
3. Add the potatoes, water or stock, salt to taste, and the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender and the soup is fragrant.
4. Remove and discard the bouquet garni.
5. Blend the soup in batches in a blender (cover the top with a towel and hold it to avoid hot splashes), or through a food mill fitted with the fine blade. The soup should be very smooth. Return to the pot.
6. Stir and taste. Adjust salt, add freshly ground pepper, and heat through.
7. Serve in small bowls or espresso cups with a drizzle of yogurt swirled over the top and a sprinkling of tarragon.

You can make this a day or two ahead and reheat. The soup can be frozen but you will need to blend it again when you thaw it.

Makes 8 (1 cup) servings.

Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 116; Fat 2g; Sat Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 24g; Protein 2g; Dietary Fiber 6g; Sodium 57mg