A rich soup with the warming heat of ginger and a hint of earthy sweetness from parsnips. With no added cream, there is no guilt in treating yourself to this autumn favourite! The parsnip chips make for great presentation and add to the flavour, but If you don't have time, it is still a great dish without them.
Cut and prep all of the ingredients. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add garlic and leeks and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes until the leeks have wilted and softened. Add ginger and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring well.
Increase heat to medium high and add squash, parsnip, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until a golden crust forms on the bottom of the pot. This will help develop a rich flavour for your soup. Add the chicken stock and water, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Bring stock to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Test the squash and parsnips to ensure they are soft and cooked through. Once ready, blend the vegetables and stock into a puree using an immersion blender. Do a taste check to ensure the salt levels are good, and keep on low heat while you make the parsnip chips.
In a small sauté pan, heat the canola oil on medium high. Test the oil to see if it's hot enough by placing a single piece of parsnip in the oil—if it sizzles you can add enough to loosely fill the pan as shown, two batches worked well for my 6" pan. Don't overfill or the oil temperature will get too low. Fry the chips until they are a nice golden brown, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt to taste (Malden works nicely if you have it).
Once all the chips are ready, serve the soup into bowls, add slices of Parmigiano Reggiano and top with a bundle of parsnip chips.