Cut 1 1/2 apples into chunks and dice the remaining 1/2 apple into small cubes. Set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir in the shallots. Saute for a minute or so, then add the apple chunks and cook until slightly golden. Stir in the parsnips, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until caramelized. Once brown on all sides, add the sage leaves and cover with water. Simmer until soft or fork tender. Discard the sage and puree mixture and cooking liquid in a food processor until smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
In a small saute pan, melt and brown the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the diced apple, season with a pinch of salt only and saute until the apples are coated and just tender.
Transfer the puree to a serving bowl and top with the browned butter coated diced apples.
Easily turned into a soup. Great with coriander or curry powder as a substitute for the sage. If a less sweet taste is desired, try a tart apple, such as Granny Smith.
Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson, 2010