Parsnip soup with hazelnut and thyme butter
100g cold butter, coarsely chopped
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
6 thyme sprigs, plus 1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 star anise
½ cinnamon quill
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 litre chicken stock
800g parsnips (about 4 large), cut into 1cm pieces
50g roasted hazelnuts
300ml pouring cream
Toasted and buttered sourdough, to serve
Heat half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add leek, thyme sprigs, star anise and cinnamon, and cook, stirring often, until leek is softened, 6-7 mins.
Add two-thirds of the garlic and cook, stirring continuously, until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add stock and parsnip, season and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until parsnip is very tender, 15-18 mins.
Meanwhile, cook remaining butter in a small saucepan until foaming and nut brown, 3-4 mins, then stir in thyme leaves and remaining garlic.
Transfer to a food processor with hazelnuts and process until nuts are coarsely chopped.
Season to taste.
Stir cream into soup, discard thyme sprigs and spices, then blend soup with a hand-held blender until very smooth.
Top with hazelnut butter and serve with toasted sourdough.