A few years ago while visiting my niece in Montreal, we had a delicious meal at Casa Tapas that included an almond soup that was to die for. I don’t know if it was the chilly weather or the wine, but that soup was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever had, and I craved it for a long time after. I found a few similar recipes, but never got around to making them.
This recipe doesn’t replace that, but is a bit of a nod to some of the same ingredients. It also was a way to finally enjoy one of my least favorite vegetables, parsnips. Now I’ve never met a vegetable I couldn’t eat, I enjoy most, and some that I was kind of meh over have grown on me, like how heirloom tomatoes made me realize how delicious tomatoes really were. I grew up with boiled parsnips, and never liked them much at all until I had them roasted with other root vegetables in a buttery sweet sauce.
I got two pounds of parsnips in last week’s CSA (still getting this in December, woot!) and was determined to make something tasty out of them. This soup was the result !
- 2-3 heads of garlic (depending on size, I used about 2 1/2 small heads of garlic in my soup)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 8 cups broth
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- 2 potatoes, peeled (about half a pound)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 500ml light cream
- salt, and if desired, pepper to taste
- red pepper/paprika oil (optional)
Start by roasting the garlic. Slice the tops off the garlic, leaving the head intact, and place on tinfoil. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and wrap up in the tinfoil. Place in oven at 350 degrees for about an hour, until the cloves are caramelized somewhat and soft. Set aside until ready to use.
In a large saucepan, bring broth and a tablespoon of olive oil to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add parsnips, almonds and potatoes and cook until vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced somewhat. Add smoked paprika and about half of the garlic you may use. Use a stick or regular blender to puree all. Taste and add more garlic until it suits your own taste, pureeing again if necessary. The soup wasn’t overly garlicky even with 2 1/2 roasted heads of garlic, as the flavor is much mellower. Stir in cream and bring to medium heat. Season with salt to taste and if desired, ground pepper.
If desired, serve with a little roasted red pepper and/or paprika oil along with a little cream, or as I used, a dollop of plain goat yogurt. I made my own oil by pureeing a roasted red pepper with a teaspoon of smoked paprika in 1 cup of oil, then strained to use.
This would make a nice hearty lunch along with some crusty bread and maybe some manchego cheese, or if you feel like baking, maybe some biscuits with a cheese substitution.