2 T vegetable or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t salt
2 – 3 t caraway seeds
5 medium parsnips, (peeled) and cubed (about 1 lb)
3 medium potatoes, (peeled) and cubed (about 1 1/4 lbs)
3 c broth or water
1/4 t fennel seeds
3 c sharp cheddar, grated (about 8 oz)
3 c milk
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion and salt and sauté until the onion becomes translucent, about 10 minutes. Mix in the caraway seeds and parsnips. Stir and cook gently for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes and broth or water. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower to a moderate simmer and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes and parsnips are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Remove the soup from the heat.

3. Stir in the fennel seeds and cheese. When the cheese has melted, stir in the milk. Allow the soup to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, in batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Gently reheat, being careful not to let the soup boil. Serve hot, with parsley sprinkled on top.