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Roasted Parsnip and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
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Published: 9/16/2009 12:01 AM

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8 large parsnips (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into large pieces

Olive oil

1 pound (about 10) Jerusalem artichokes, see note

Juice of 1 lemon

3 medium shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

½ cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

5 cups chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

Toasted hazelnut oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Drizzle the parsnip pieces with olive oil. Place the parsnips on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Transfer the parsnips to the slow cooker insert.

While the parsnips are roasting, peel and dice the artichokes. Place the pieces in a bowl of cold water with the lemon juice to keep them from turning dark.

Preheat a slow cooker to Low.

Place a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and saute shallots until they are slightly browned and soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the wine to the pan and cook the mixture for 3 minutes. Add the wine-shallot mixture to the slow cooker insert. Drain the Jerusalem artichoke pieces and add them to the insert. Add the thyme and chicken stock to the insert.

Cover and cook on Low for 5 hours, until the Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips are very soft.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender or with an immersion blender until the soup is very creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped toasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of toasted hazelnut oil.

Serves six.

Cook's note: The name Jerusalem artichoke is a misnomer. These bumpy tubers are the root of the sunflower plant, which is why they are also called sunchokes. They have a nutty, earthy flavor similar to an artichoke and when paired with sweet roasted parsnips, they are a match made in heaven.

"Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes" by Laura Frankel (2009 Wiley, $24.95)