Start to finish: 1 hour, 20 minutes
1 1/2 pounds (about 4) golden beets
1/2 pound (about 4) parsnips, peeled and sliced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, or more as needed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
1/2 cup heavy cream, light cream or half-and-half
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Trim the tops and roots from the beets, and wash them thoroughly, using a brush if you have one. Place the beets in a saucepan and add cold water to cover. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the beets, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes until a sharp knife slides easily into them. Drain the beets and allow them to cool (you can also submerge them in cold water to speed the process). When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut the beets into chunks.
Meanwhile, combine the parsnips with 4 cups broth in a pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 30 minutes until the parsnips are very tender. Remove the parsnips with a slotted spoon and place them in a food processor or blender with the cooked beets and 1 teaspoon thyme. Add about 1/2 cup of the cooking broth and puree together until smooth. Stir the vegetable puree back into the pot with the remaining broth.
Return the soup to the pot over medium-low heat, stir in the cream, and season with salt and pepper. Add more broth if the soup is too thick. Stir for 1 minute to allow the cream to warm through, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm in bowls with a few thyme leaves sprinkled over the top.
Nutrition information per serving: 227 calories; 104 calories from fat; 12 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 41 mg cholesterol; 388 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 5 g protein.
Katie Workman, Associated Press