A swirl in the blender with just a touch of heavy cream turns root vegetables into a luscious soup. Top with roasted almond slices for a little crunch.
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots, parsnips, and potato, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Season with 2 teaspoons salt. Add water, and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 13 to 15 minutes.
Puree mixture in a blender with cream until smooth. (For safety, remove cap from hole in lid, and cover with a dish towel to prevent spattering.) Divide soup among 4 bowls; sprinkle with almonds. Season with pepper.