Roots & Leeks Bisque with Mascarpone Herb Balls


By: Merry Graham

Background: A creamy mascarpone, leek, parsnip, celery root, and rutabaga bisque topped with a mascarpone herb ball is waiting for your pleasure! Do I need to say more or don't you want to grab a spoon and take part in splendor? Really, this soup becomes a comforting addiction. Thanks, Crave Brothers for producing a superior mascarpone cheese. I wanted to highlight the Crave Brothers Mascarpone in this recipe so I created the mascarpone herb balls ~ and oh my, I am going to start making the balls for all sorts of dishes! Enjoy!

Yields: 9 cups

Mascarpone Herb Balls:

2/3 cup Crave Brothers Mascarpone Cheese
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon minced basil
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon finely minced garlic

Bisque:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and tender green parts
2 cups parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 1/2-pound)
2 cups celery root, peeled and cubed (1 small celery root)
2 cups rutabaga, peeled and cubed, (1 large rutabaga)
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
½ cup Crave Brothers Mascarpone Cheese
1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced parsley

Instructions: To make mascarpone herb balls: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer while bisque is prepared.

To make bisque: Heat olive oil in a stockpot on medium-high heat. Add leeks and let pan fry until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add cubed parsnips, celery root, rutabaga, garlic, and pan roast for about 3 minutes, or until garlic turns golden. Add stock to vegetables and bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are very soft and cooked through.

When vegetables are soft pour into a large bowl.  Place vegetables in a blender or food processor, purée in batches with stock until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Transfer purée back into stockpot. Stir in mascarpone, 1-teaspoon salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Heat bisque on medium heat for 2 minutes, or until desired serving temperature. If needed, thin with more chicken stock. Season with additional 1/2-teaspoon salt, if desired.

Remove Mascarpone Herb Balls from freezer and scoop with a melon baller to form balls. Ladle bisque into bowls, sprinkle with fresh parsley and place one or two herb balls on top of bisque. Go MaD and EnJoY immensely!

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