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Focaccia with Beetroot and Parsnip Olive Soup

Focaccia and soup

This is such a nice meal you might even want to invite some guests and rummage through your closet to find those dusty “company” bowls!

You can use one large potato in place of the Jerusalem artichokes in the Parsnip Olive Soup.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10 for Focaccia and Parsnip Soup, 12 for Black Olive OilServings


Focaccia Bread

  • 450 grams (about 3½ cups) of bread flour (whole grain works well)
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup tepid water
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 or 2 red or Chioggia (candy-striped) beets
  • 1 tablespoon fennel or anise seeds
  • Sumac to sprinkle (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Pinch of coarse sea salt

Parsnip Soup

  • 3 - 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet or Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, cubed
  • 2 large or 4 small parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups Jerusalem artichokes, washed and thinly sliced
  • 3 quarts water or homemade vegetable stock
  • Garnish: Black Olive Oil and chopped parsley

Black Olive Oil

  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Garnish: chopped parsley


Focaccia Bread:

1. Mix all dry ingredients for the dough.

2. Add most of water and knead well. Then add the rest, plus more if needed.

3. Oil a bowl, roll the dough into a ball and rub evoo all over the dough to keep the moisture in.

4. Cover with a damp towel for 90 minutes.

5. Thinly slice the fennel and the beets by hand or using a mandoline. You want nice, big, but thin slices.

6. Toss the fennel in a bowl with some olive oil to stop it from oxidizing.

7. Generously grease a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil.

8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to punch it down and knead it more. Form the dough into one or two very flat, wide loaves.

9. Use your fingers to press, stretch and push the dough down.

10. Once the loaves are formed, place them on the greased pan and sprinkle the sumac over the dough. Spread the vegetables to cover every inch of the dough, you can press them in quite firmly and even layer them a little if you want. The more veggies and toppings you use, the more “pizzalike” it will be.

11. Sprinkle the coarse salt and some more evoo and let the bread proof, one last time, covered with a towel for about 15 minutes.

12. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the focaccia at 400°F for 20 to 30 minutes until golden.

Parsnip Olive Soup:

1. Warm evoo in a large pot.

2. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add garlic and fennel and sauté for 2 minutes more.

4. Add parsnip and Jerusalem artichoke together with water and/or broth.

5. Simmer until vegetables are soft. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or for a much smoother puree, transfer the soup to a blender and puree on high in several batches, then strain.

6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, squirt or drizzle Black Olive Oil into the center of the bowl and garnish with chopped parsley.

Black Olive Oil:

Published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller magazine, Winter 2013. Subscribe Now.

Chanukah 2013 Magazine