Parsnip & Cipollini Soup
Parsnip & Cipollini Soup Serves 6
1 bunch chives ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the chives and blanch them for 10 seconds. Drain the water and transfer the chives to an ice bath. Remove them and pat dry on paper towels, squeezing to remove as much of the excess water as possible. Roughly chop the chives and place them in a blender. Slowly add the olive oil while the blender is on low and process until smooth. Transfer the Chive Oil to a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Strain the oil through a fine mesh sieve, pressing against the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much oil as possible. Transfer the oil to a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until needed, up to 2 weeks. (Bring it to room temperature before using.)
For the soup: ¼ cup olive oil 12 cipollini onions, peeled 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 small yellow onion, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 leek, white part only, chopped 2 shallots, diced 4 garlic cloves, crushed 2 pounds parsnips, chopped (about 6) Salt and white pepper to taste ½ cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium ovenproof sauté pan, add the olive oil and cipollini onions and cook them over medium-high heat until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Place the pan in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the onions are caramelized and cooked through. Remove the onions from the pan, chop them, and keep warm. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Sauté the onion, celery, leek, shallots, and garlic until the vegetables are soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir the vegetables occasionally to prevent browning. Add the parsnips to the vegetables and sauté for about 3 minutes while stirring. Add 1½ quarts of water and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the parsnips are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the heavy cream. Remove the vegetables from the heat and immediately purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reheat the soup before serving.
To serve: Ladle the soup in 6 bowls. Add a heaping spoonful of the onions in the center and drizzle the Chive Oil on top.