6 servings



          This is a light but creamy soup that combines carrots, parsnips and complementary herbs. It makes a wonderful first course and may be served hot or cold.


2 cups chicken broth

2 medium leeks, white part only, sliced and rinsed

5 large carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces

6 parsnips, cut in 2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

1 celery stalk, cut in several pieces

3 parsley sprigs

1 cup half and half

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Sprigs of fresh dill for garnish


          Heat 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the leeks, carrots, parsnips, celery and parsley and simmer over medium-high heat until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 to 35 minutes. Spoon the vegetables and the liquid, in two batches, into a blender jar and blend on high speed until smooth.


          Pour the soup back into the same saucepan, reduce the heat to medium and add the half and half, cream, thyme, dill, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, to heat and blend flavors. The soup should have the consistency of heavy cream. If the soup is too thick, use the additional chicken stock to thin.


          Garnish each bowl of soup with a sprig of fresh dill and serve hot.