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Warmth of the Season

Recipe by: Whitney Ingram of the Rookie Cookie FoodBlog
Photography By: Stephanie Stringfellow

As the excitement of the holidays comes to an end, January can seem especially cold. No more lights and singing, all of the excitement of gifts and surprises are gone, and friends and family return home. It always seems to end so abruptly, but the end of the merriment ushers in a quieter, calmer time, a time for renewing, refocusing, and reevaluating. There is nothing better than a comforting, yet sophisticated, soup for these simpler moments. A silky smooth soup that warms you from the inside out. This Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup is perfection. The butternut squash lends its gentle sweetness, and the parsnip brings a unique earthy flavor to this creamy, smooth soup. Serve it with a big slice of crusty bread. And while you are at it, invite your scarf-clad neighbor in from the cold and enjoy a bowl together.

Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup

  • 2 medium butternut squash, about 4 lbs.
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Pats of butter, for serving

Set the oven to 425 degrees.

Peel the butternut squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out. Put the butternut squash and the apple, cut side down, on a greased sheet pan. Roast the squash and apple for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set the squash on a cutting board with a pair of tongs. Carefully chop the squash. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the olive oil and butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted butternut squash and the apple. Pour in the vegetable stock. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for 5 minutes.

Carefully blend the soup in the blender in batches, or blend with an immersion blender. Pour all soup back into the soup pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cumin, paprika, and heavy cream. Serve soup with a small pat of butter on top.

Yields 6 delicious, warm servings.