Hazelnut Soup (Rapunzel's Soup)
I love soup in the winter time. And after watching Tangled for the 30th time with my toddler, I wondered to myself, is this a real thing? I mean her wicked "mother" said it was parsnip based (Well she actually said "I have parsnips". But if you can't infer the rest, then I'm sorry.) And I like parsnips! So I googled it, guess what, its real. And guess what, its good! Its butternut squash and parsnip based so if you're thinking you don't like parsnips, well keep reading. It has all of the sweetness of a butternut squash soup but it has a subtle earthy finish from the parsnips. It is delicious enough for an adult. And it is sweet enough for a child. It’s also relatively easy. I was about to go downstairs to grab the note pad with the instructions and ingredient quantities. But guess what... I can pull it out of the old noggin! (Apparently today wasn't one of the days that my children drained my brain.)
1 large butternut squash
2 lbs parsnips
3 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion
1 large apple (any variety except red delicious)
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half (I used fat free)
4 tbsp maple syrup (real, pure maple syrup)
1 tsp salt
sprinkling of thyme
1 lbs hazelnuts (shelled)
1. Peel and clean your butternut squash, cutting it into fairly large chunks. Lay it onto a greased cooking sheet or a silicone liner.
2. Peel and cut up your parsnips into large chunks, add them to the baking sheet with the butternut squash.
3. Lightly sprinkle with thyme and bake in the oven for 50 minutes at 400 degrees. 35 minutes into baking, remove the roasting vegetables, drizzle the maple syrup and return to the oven for the remaining 15 minutes.
4. In a Dutch oven (I just really like mine, you can use a large pot) melt 3 tbsp of butter and add minced onions and the peeled and diced apple. (Dice the apple in 1/2'-1" chucks.)
5. Cook on a medium low heat for roughly 10 minutes until fragrant and/or the onions become translucent.
6. Add the butternut squash/parsnip and the onion/apple mixtures into a large Vitamix blender with 4 1/2 cups of chicken broth. (If you have to separate it because your blender is too small, that’s okay.) Puree until completely smooth. (If you don't have a quality blender, then you may have to find yourself straining the soup to get rid of "chunks". Even with my Vitamix, I had to allow it to blend for a good 4 minutes.)
7. Return to puree to the Dutch oven (or pot) and heat. Add the half and half and the salt.
8. In a small pan, add the coarsely chopped hazelnuts and brown for 3-5 minutes, stirring and flipping along the way. (The nuts contain enough natural oils that you won't need to grease the pan.)
9. Garnish the soup with the toasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of heavy whipping cream or half and half.
10. (Optional) Wear Rapunzel heels, dress and crown.