Growing up a Southwest girl, winters are a little different in my neck of the woods. Winter to me, is switching from shorts to jeans and maybe a sweatshirt with my same favorite sandals. We just spent Saturday afternoon at the beach with hundreds of other beach goers. You’d have never guessed it was still January. Whether warm or frigid, I enjoy making batches of soup during these “winter” months. It’s the epitome of comfort food. There’s nothing better than a piping hot bowl of chicken soup to warm the soul.

While strolling through Whole Foods last week, a veggie I hadn’t used before caught my eye, the parsnip. They are unusually big, earthy looking and perhaps intimidating if you have never cooked with them before. This was my first go with parsnips and they were fantastic in this hearty warm soup. If you’ve never worked with parsnips before, HERE’S a step by step video to show you how. My boys and hubby had the soup for dinner then lunch the next day and never blinked an eye about the new vegetable Mom snuck in! Give them a go, I bet you love them too!

Creamy Chicken Vegetable, Orzo and Potato Soup

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ Cups diced parsnips

3 large carrots, peeled and diced

3 large stalks of celery, diced

1 onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

3 Tablespoons flour

3 14 oz cans chicken broth

1 Cup orzo

4 Cups diced potatoes

2 dashes of Tabasco hot sauce

¼ Cup grated parmesan cheese

1 14 oz can chicken broth

1. Heat oil into a large dutch oven over medium heat. Saute parsnips, carrots, celery, onion and bell pepper for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour; stir and cook for 1 more minute. Slowly stir in chicken broth. Increase heat to high, until soup starts to boil. Add orzo and potatotes, reduce heat to medium high and let cook for 8-10 minutes or until orzo is al dente and potatoes fork tender. Reduce heat to low, Stir in another can of chicken broth, season with Tabasco, parmesan and additional salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

8 servings

Have a great week, see you soon with more comfort food!