Gingered Parsnip Bisque

  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped leeks
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery 
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger 
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth 
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)

Directions

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add next 5 ingredients and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and parsnips; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until parsnips are tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. 

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Strain into another large pot; discard solids in strainer. Whisk in half and half. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.) Simmer soup over medium heat until heated through, about 10 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Bon Appétit | February 2001