This puréed soup made of squash, sweet potato, and parsnip looks like liquid gold. It’s a quick recipe that you can easily turn into a splendid starter if you top it off with roasted grapes, rosemary, and whipped orange mascarpone. To keep the mood and schedule relaxed at Christmas, you can prepare the grapes and soup up to a day.
- 9 ounces (250g) seedless red grapes, on the vine
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Flaky sea salt
- 4 ounces (110g) mascarpone
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- For the soup
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound (225g) seeded squash, preferably peeled butternut or Hokkaido with skin, cut into cubes
- 1/3 pound 1/3 pound (150g) peeled parsnip and sweet potato, cut into cubes
- 2 1/2 cups (600ml) homemade or quality store-bought vegetable broth, hot
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Fine sea salt
- Finely ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- For the topping, place the grapes and rosemary in a medium baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, gently toss to coat, and season to taste with flaky sea salt. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the grapes are soft and a little shriveled.
- For the soup, heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes or until golden and soft. Add the squash, parsnip, and sweet potato and sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the hot broth, thyme, and bay leaf, season to taste with fine sea salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme. In a food processor or blender, or with an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth then return it to the pot and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute or until it reaches the desired taste and texture. Season to taste with fine sea salt and pepper.
- For the topping, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, orange juice, and fine sea salt.
- Divide the soup among bowls, top with a spoonful of the orange mascarpone and the roasted grapes (snipped or on the vine), and sprinkle with a little roasted rosemary and pepper.