Creamy Parsnip Soup with Pear and Walnuts


Serves 8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-3/4 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped (6 cups)
3/4 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 teaspoons garam masala (spice blend available at national supermarkets)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
4 cups water
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups pareve cream or soymilk or non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon walnut oil
1 small Bosc or d’Anjou pear, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
Kosher salt

For the soup: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the parsnips, potatoes and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, turmeric and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the water, chicken stock and pareve cream. Bring to a simmer; cook until the vegetables are soft, 25 minutes.

With an immersion blender, puree the soup in a until very smooth. Add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
For the topping: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the walnuts and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until golden, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic and lemon juice. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and toss with the walnut oil. Cool to room temperature, then stir in the pear, parsley and tarragon; season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup sprinkled with the topping.
The soup can be refrigerated for 3 days and reheated gently before serving.

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