This recipe is a Roasted Parsnip and White Bean soup, topped with Guanciale and Fried Sage (arguably counteracting the health benefits of a vegetable-based soup, but oh well). It’s a recipe I came up with while walking home from work one day, playing around with different ideas for our parsnip harvest. The sweetness of the roasted parsnips is complemented beautifully by the creaminess of the white beans and the salty, fattiness of the guanciale topping. It’s a thick soup, almost more of a puree, but a swirl of cream added at the end lightens it and gives it a luxurious mouthfeel.
Roasted Parsnip and White Bean Soup with Guanciale and Fried Sage
- 6 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3 TBS olive oil, divided
- coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 oz. guanciale, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 12 leaves sage, divided
- 1 large yukon gold potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 TBS salted butter
- 1/2 c. heavy cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss parsnips with 2 TBS of the olive oil, then spread out on a roasting pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Roast parsnips until tender, about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a large non-stick saucepan, heat the remaining 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add the guanciale and cook, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked guanciale and set aside. Chop 4 of the 12 sage leaves finely. Add the onion, garlic, and chopped sage to the saucepan and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook 2 minutes longer, then add the roasted parsnips and the stock.
- Bring soup to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the rinsed cannellini beans, and cook until heated through, another 5 minutes. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high until very smooth. Return to the pot and keep warm over low heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Before serving, melt 2 TBS butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once fully melted and bubbling, add remaining 8 sage leaves to melted butter and cook until crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the cooked guanciale cubes and the fried sage leaves. If desired, drizzle 2 TBS of heavy cream on top of each bowl. Serve with toasted sourdough bread.