Roasted Parsnip White Chocolate Soup
This is an interesting and delicious soup with just the perfect hint of white chocolate sweetness. It's an unusual treat that you could start -- or end -- a meal with.
Be sure to use a good-quality white chocolate, preferably with 35 percent cacao, such as Valrhona brand.
2 pounds parsnips (about 4 or 5 large parsnips)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 medium Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
2 quarts no-salt-added or low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup chopped, good-quality white chocolate (see headnote)
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Trim, peel and cut the parsnips crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds, placing them on a rimmed baking sheet as you go. Use the 2 tablespoons of oil to brush them lightly. Roast (middle rack) for about 40 minutes, until they begin to soften and brown.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the broth, vanilla extract and the roasted parsnips. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the parsnips are very soft. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Stir in the white chocolate; cook for about 5 minutes, until melted. Remove from the heat, then stir in the heavy cream.
Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until smooth, then add the lime juice and puree just long enough to incorporate.
Divide among individual bowls; garnish with the dill and serve warm.
Serves 8 (makes about 10 cups).
Adapted from a recipe at FrancineSegan.com.
White Chocolate Unicorn Bark
The bark needs to set for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight. It keeps, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week.
Food coloring gel in 4 or 5 colors (such as yellow, blue, green, purple and/or red)
1 to 2 teaspoons sprinkles of varying colors and sizes
1 tablespoon mini marshmallows, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons gummy candy or jelly beans (optional)
12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, such as Callebaut, coarsely chopped
Set out all the mix-in ingredients (coloring, sprinkles, mini marshmallows, candy) in separate bowls. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Heat the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on high in 30-second bursts until melted, stirring each time.
Divide the melted white chocolate among 4 or 5 small bowls; add different food coloring a few drops at a time to each bowl, stirring well to combine. The gel colors can be quite strong, so start light and add more as needed.
Drop spoonfuls of the different-colored chocolates onto the prepared baking sheet in puddles, making sure they are close enough to one another that one big puddle starts to form.
Use a skewer or a toothpick to swirl the colors as you like, taking care not to muddle them too much. Gently shake the baking sheet from side to side to help the chocolate sit in an even layer and fill in any gaps.
Decorate with sprinkles, marshmallows and candy, if using. Leave the chocolate to set in a cool place for about an hour or up to overnight, until hard. Cut it into angled pieces for serving or storing.
Makes 24 pieces
Adapted from a recipe at BBCGoodFood.com.