Parsnips have come a long way. In my household, they used to be “those strange, white, carrot-y things that are in Mom’s soup.” Now not only does my family use them in a wide variety of recipes, but other cooks including professional and celebrity chefs. Over the past several years one recipe that has gained a great deal of popularity is parsnip puree. Parsnip puree can be used in the same context as mashed potatoes. A key difference, however, is that parsnips have a lot more nutrients than potatoes, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. One thing to keep in mind with this recipe is that it is not low fat. The recipe contains heavy cream as well as butter and/or oil.
1 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced
2 cups heavy cream
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 horizontally
4 ounces unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Put parsnips in pot, season with salt and cover with water. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender – the tip of a paring knife should easily go through without resistance, approximately 15 minutes.
In a medium saucepan place the cream, thyme sprigs and garlic cloves over low heat and bring to a simmer.
Drain parsnips and reserve cooking liquid. Place parsnips in a food processor with butter, or extra-virgin olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of reserved cooking liquid. Begin to process and add strained heavy cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and puree until very smooth.