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Smoky Bacon Apple Parsnip Soup

My house smells of bacon and wood fire. It's Monday and I've just washed the last dish from a family supper we hosted last night that ended with our loved ones sitting fireside enjoying bowls of homemade pistachio ice cream and talking about snow-shoeing. Stack that on top of an epic Packers victory and an amazing first week of dietetic internship and you've got the recipe for a happy Ashleigh sundae.

For last night's eats, Brandon and I worked together to make a pretty damn good meal: classic Caesar salad, homemade fresh ricotta ravioli and fat yellow semolina fettuccine (thanks to the pasta roller he bought me for Christmas) topped with Nigel Slater's Really Good Bolognese sauce, and this soup I just got to share with you...

smoky bacon apple parsnip soup | funkybeetsblog.com

Vegetal, sweet, creamy, and smoky, this soup is a snuggie in a bowl folks.  Slow-simmering the vegetables for an hour lends what the French call a certain "I don't know what" to the flavor profile.  Well, that and starting by sautéing onions in bacon fat.  Allspice and nutmeg warm things up while apple lends brightness and potato helps with rib-stickiness.  Enjoy a bowl fireside or whilst standing by the microwave in your work cafeteria. Either way this soup will be a proverbial lumberjack foot massage atop fleece sheets in a sauna for your soul.

Smoky Bacon Apple Parsnip Soup

recipe adapted from Foodess blog
Makes 4 meal-sized servings; 8 starter-sized servings

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp bacon fat (alternatively, butter or olive oil)
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 lb parsnips (2 large), peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, for topping

Method

  1. Melt bacon fat in a large pot (such as a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add onions and saute until softened and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add nutmeg and allspice and sauté a minute more.
  2. Add potato, apples and parsnips; stir in vegetable broth and increase the heat to bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer, keeping the soup covered, until vegetables and apples are very soft, about an hour ( you can get away with 30 minutes if you're in a time crunch).
  3. Puree using an immersion blender or in batches using a standard blender. Wistfully stir in the half and half and add salt and pepper, tasting as you go.
  4. Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy emphatically.
smoky bacon apple parsnip soup | funkybeetsblog.com