- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 3 pounds parsnips, peeled and diced
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 6 ounces raw bacon, chopped
- 1/2 pound new potatoes, thinly sliced and soaking in cold water
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Melt the butter in a 6-quart stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes.Add the bay leaf and garlic. Add the stock and parsnips and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the parsnips are very soft and the mixture has thickened and creamy, about 1 hour.
- Remove the soup from the heat. Discard the bay leaf.
- Using a hand-held blender, puree until smooth. Stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small sauté pan, over medium heat, render the ham until crispy. Fry the potatoes until crispy and brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season with salt.
- Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.
- To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with the crispy potatoes, bacon and chives.