Dear SOS: The Organic Panificio Cafe in Marina del Rey has a delicious sweet corn and parsnip soup. I ordered a bowl, and when my husband tasted it he ordered one for himself.
Dear Carol: This recipe marries sweet summer corn with delicately sweet parsnips, fresh garlic and herbs for a wonderfully easy soup that has a creamy texture and rich flavor, despite being fairly low in calories. Serve it simply, with a dollop of buttery mascarpone and fresh chopped parsley.
Sweet corn and parsnip soupTotal time: 1 hour and 10 minutesServings: 6 to 8Note: Adapted from the Organic Panificio Cafe.2 1/2 tablespoons butter1 cup diced onion1 stalk celery, chopped5 cloves garlic, smashed3 sprigs parsley, plus chopped parsley for garnish, divided4 sprigs thyme 1/2 bay leaf3 cups (1 pound) fresh, sweet yellow corn kernels (from 5 to 6 ears) 1/3 pound peeled and trimmed parsnips, coarsely chopped2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste 1/2 teaspoon cracked white pepper, plus more to taste6 to 7 cups milk, more as desired Raw sugar, to taste if desired Mascarpone, for garnish1. 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.