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Michael Allemeier’s Vanilla Parsnip Soup

Yields1 Serving

 2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
 2 Tbsp. butter
 1 onion, peeled and diced
 1 leek, white part only, washed and thinly sliced
 2 garlic cloves, sliced
 3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
 2 L (8 cups) chicken stock
 1 vanilla bean (or a small dollop of vanilla bean paste)
 1/2 cup cream (optional)
 juice of half a lemon (or a tablespoon or two)
 salt to taste
1

In a large pot set over medium-high heat, heat the oil and butter. When the foam subsides add the onion, leek and garlic. Slowly sweat the vegetables until they're tender and soft but not browned - 5 minutes or so.

2

Add the parsnips and continue to cook, stirring often. After about 5 minutes, add the stock and bring to a simmer.

3

Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the black seeds. Add pod and seeds to the simmering soup. Simmer for 30 minutes until parsnips are tender.

4

Remove the vanilla pods and discard, and stir in the cream. Puree the soup well using a hand-held immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Add the lemon juice and season with salt.