Parsnip Soup with Pesto

  Oh this one is breaking my heart.  It turned out so beautiful and had so much potential…and it just tasted…okay.  I guess that fish chowder with a pint of cream and beef and mushroom stew are hard acts to follow.
Here’s what we’re making:
  Here’s what you need:
2 lbs parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 cups vegetable stock
  Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.  Coat your parsnips with about 1 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper*.  Place them on a baking sheet and bake for around 22-25 minutes.
  Meanwhile, pulse your walnuts in a food processor with your herbs until they’re very finely chopped.  Add in your remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, your lemon juice and salt and pepper* to taste and pulse to combine and create pesto.
  Remove your parsnips from the oven and allow to cool slightly before placing in a blender.  Blend with your stock until smooth.  Pour into a soup pan and heat until warmed through.  Season with salt and pepper as needed* and ladle into bowls, topped with a dollup of pesto to serve.
*Go really light on the salt…that’s 3 different places they’ve told you to add it and part of the problem with our flavor was that it was bordering on too salty.
  Like I said, I understand that those last two recipes are tough acts to follow…they were pretty insanely good, but this one just had issues.  We’ll probably try making it again and make a few tweaks.  For one, way less salt.  We all ate it, but I don’t think any of us were terribly enthusiastic about it.  Ah well.
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