Raw sugar, to taste if desired
1. In a 4-quart, heavy-bottom soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the onions, celery and garlic along with the parsley sprigs, thyme and bay leaf until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Stir in the corn, parsnips, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and continue to saute until the parsnips are tender, 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Purée the soup using an immersion blender, or in stages using a standing blender, then strain.
5. Adjust the seasoning to taste and sweeten if desired with raw sugar. This makes about 7 cups soup.
6. Serve warm, with a small dollop of mascarpone and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Each of 8 servings: 226 calories; 9 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 29 mg. cholesterol; 822 mg. sodium.