Roasted Garlic & Parsnip Soup with Chorizo & Parsley Oil

Smooth, velvety soup is always a must in the colder months.  The creamy subtle flavour of slow roasted garlic paired with sweet parsnips, salty chorizo and a drizzle of fresh parsley oil made this one a definite stand out.  An all-rounder.  10/10.

Prep time:  20  Minutes                Cooking time:    1 Hour                $  Low Budget

Serves 6-8

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling and frying

20gm of butter

4-6 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

4 cream delight potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 whole garlic bulb, halved crossways

1 large brown onion, diced

8 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and stalks discarded

1.5 litres of chicken stock (low sodium if possible)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

extra water if needed

1/2 cup of pure cream

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

2 chorizo sausages, diced

Crusty bread to serve

For the parsley oil:

1 cup of flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tsp of sea salt

Pre heat the oven to 160°C.  Tear off a piece of foil and drizzle the foil with a little olive oil and season it with a little salt and pepper.  Place the garlic on the oiled foil, flesh side down and wrap it up, not too tightly around the garlic but sealed well all over.  You want the garlic to roast and steam at the same time.  Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and soft.

Heat a large pot and add a little olive oil and the butter.  When melted lightly fry the onions until soft and then add the thyme leaves, parsnips and potatoes. Allow the veggies to sweat for 5-10 minutes and then pour in the stock and season with a little salt and pepper.   Bring the pot to the boil, place a lid on and allow the mixture to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are nice and tender.

Remove the garlic from the oven and unwrap the foil.  Allow the garlic to cool slightly and then using the tips of your fingers, squeeze the roasted garlic flesh out of its skin directly into the soup pot.  It should slide out easily if cooked properly.  Continue to simmer the soup for another 5 minutes and then remove from the heat.  Use a hand blender (or food processor) to blend the soup until silky smooth.  You want it to be a nice, thick consistency but if it is a little too thick for your liking just add a little water.  Once smooth, return to the heat and stir in the cream and lemon juice, have a little taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Heat a medium sized frypan until nice and hot.  Add the chorizo pieces and fry them until golden and crispy.

To make the parsley oil, I prefer to us a mortar and pestle as it really releases all of the oils from the parsley, which are packed full of flavour.  If you don’t have one a food processor or hand blender will do.  Place the parsley and salt in the mortar and pestle and pound and grind until you have a nice paste.  Add the olive oil and lemon juice and stir well to combine……it should be a lovely thick paste-like consistency but not as thick as a pesto.  This will keep in the fridge for a week or so and is lovely drizzled over fish or salads.

To serve, ladle the soup into deep soup bowls.  Sprinkle over the chorizo pieces and using a spoon, drizzle over the parsley oil.  Serve with warm crusty bread rolls and enjoy…..