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Parsnip soup

Serves 4.

1leek, halved lengthwise and chopped
2tablespoons butter
2large shallots, chopped
1pound parsnips, thinly sliced
6cups water, or more if needed
2thick slices bacon
¼cup heavy cream (optional)
¼tart green apple
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Rinse the leek in a colander to remove any sand.

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and leek and cook gently, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Add the parsnips and stir well. Add enough water to cover the vegetables with plenty of salt. Bring to a boil.

4. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for 15 minutes or until the parsnips are tender.

5. Meanwhile, in a dry skillet, render the bacon until it is golden brown. Crumble it.

6. Set a strainer over a bowl. In a blender, puree the soup a little at a time, straining each batch. Pour the soup back into the saucepan and stir in the cream, if you like. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Finely chop the apple. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each one with bacon and apple.

Adapted from Icarus restaurant

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