This white velvet soup is the hearty, healthy winter dinner you need in your life! Full of parsnips, fennel, celery, and onion, it’s different from your typical vegetable soup. The veggies get sautéed and then cooked in simmering water, and then puréed into a rich, creamy soup. Unsweetened almond milk thins out the purée just enough without drastically changing the flavor. This soup is similar in texture to a butternut squash or sweet potato soup, but something about its simplicity makes it feel extra luxurious.
The pomegranate gremolata adds the perfect finishing touch of brightness to liven things up. Some chopped bacon adds great crunch and meaty flavor, but you can leave it off if you want to keep it vegetarian. And of course, nothing is complete without a little sprinkle of parmesan!
White Velvet Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus for drizzling
- 4 parsnips peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 bulbs fennel trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- Crispy cooked bacon chopped, for garnish
- Grated Parmesan for garnish
- Pomegranate Gremolata for garnish, recipe follows
- Pomegranate Gremolata:
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- As seen on: Giada's Holiday Handbook, Episode 1. 'Tis The Season.
- Heat the olive oil in a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven medium-high heat. Add the parsnips, celery, fennel, onion, salt and fennel seeds. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add 4 cups water and the bay leaf to the pan, and stir. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover with a lid. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. Allow to cool slightly.
- Puree the soup in two batches, adding half of the almond milk to each batch. Return the soup to the Dutch oven, and heat to warm through--alternatively, pour the soup into a slow cooker and keep warm on the low setting.
- Serve garnished with bacon, Parmesan and pomegranate gremolata.
- Pomegranate Gremolata: In a bowl, mix together the parsley, pomegranate seeds, lemon zest and salt.