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Beetroot and parsnip soup

Beetsparsnipsradiantwintersoup

Oh, the pleasures of root vegetables on a sunny day! Last January I cooked up a roasted beet root soup on what looks like the shortest day of the year; this February afternoon, the days having pivoted from brief to broad, David chopped up a radiant cutting-board full of beets and parsnips.

The soup is simplicity itself: In a soup pot, sautee a large onion in some olive oil till soft. While the onion is cooking, begin heating a liter (or 4 cups) of vegetable stock to a simmer in a separate pan.

To the onions, add four large beets and two medium-sized parsnips (both peeled and cubed), stir thoroughly, and let cook for ten minutes. By now your stock should be simmering; add it to the soup pot and let it all come to a second simmer. Taste a bit of beet and parsnip to make sure both are tender (if not, let the soup simmer until they are).

Now, turn off the heat. Remove two ladles of beet and parsnip chunks to a separate bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Return the vegetable chunks to the pan. Stir in about a teaspoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice to brighten the flavor; season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve topped with dollops of creme fraiche and a bit of dill if you have some to hand.

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