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Leek-And-Parsnip Soup with Caviar and Black-Pepper Cream

Whitefish caviar, the soup's holiday garnish, is a relatively inexpensive variety (about $10 or less for two ounces). Look for it at Whole Foods or specialty-food markets.

  • prep: 30 mins
    total time: 1 hour
  • servings: 8
Photography: Jonny Valiant




For the Soup

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 3/4 pounds leeks (white and pale-green parts only), rinsed well and cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

For the Black-Pepper Cream

  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 jar (2 ounces) whitefish or other caviar, for garnish

Cook's Note

Soup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. Stir in milk and rewarm over medium heat just before serving. Black-pepper cream can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.


  1. Step 1

    Make the soup: Cut a round of parchment to fit inside a large pot. Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add leeks and a pinch of salt, and cover with parchment round (this will help keep moisture in). Cook, lifting parchment to stir occasionally, until leeks are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Stir in parsnips, potatoes, chicken stock, 2 1/2 cups water, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently, partially covered with lid, until parsnips are soft, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Working in batches, puree vegetable mixture in a blender, being sure to hold lid down.

  4. Step 4

    Return soup to pot, and stir in milk. Reheat soup over medium heat (do not boil).

  5. Step 5

    Make the black-pepper cream: Stir 1/4 teaspoon pepper into creme fraiche.

  6. Step 6

    Ladle soup into 8 small bowls, and top each with a dollop of black-pepper cream and 1/2 teaspoon caviar.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2011



Reviews (1)

  • lunalafluer 18 Jun, 2013

    I'm making this soup right now. It will be the third time. When I first tried it I said, "Parsnips! Where have you been all my life?!" I LOVE this soup! So delicious and easy to make, stores great too. Thank you Martha!