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Parsnips, which are homely roots and often overlooked, add variety to a cold weather menu. Similar to carrots, the tapered white vegetables are sweeter and starchier than their orange cousins. Both do well in a hot oven. Cut them into large pieces, set them in a pan with chicken thighs on top — the meat bastes the vegetables as they cook — and after roasting, the roots will have absorbed some of the juices.

Begin the second day’s meal by toasting whole-wheat orzo in a pan with onion, celery, and garlic. Simmer the tiny rice-shaped pasta in chicken stock and finish the hearty soup with spinach, lemon juice, and some of the chicken and its roasted vegetables. If you’re smart, you’ll keep these ingredients on hand to make the duo many more times and add cheer to frosty nights.



(For chicken thighs, soup)

12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin intact (about 5 pounds)

10 medium (2 pounds) carrots

8 medium (2 pounds) parsnips

2 ounces (4 cups) baby spinach

1 onion

3 stalks celery

3 cloves garlic

3 lemons

Few stalks fresh oregano

Few stalks fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons canola oil

8½ cups chicken stock

8 ounces whole-wheat orzo

Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at kboehmgoodnick@gmail.com.