Inspired by a traditional Finnish recipe, this soup is delicious served either as an appetizer or as a main course with a hearty dark bread and a sharp cheese.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size onion, chopped
3 medium-size parsnips, peeled and sliced
4 to 5 medium-size carrots, sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cans (14 ounces each) chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup white wine or apple cider (or juice)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, and pear and saute for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the broth, water, wine, and all the spices. Simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Serve hot.