I found a bag of parsnips in the fridge the other day.
They must have been bought as part of a roasted vegetable concoction I was planning to make, but got left behind.
Because parsnips are a bit like sprouts and puppies, and they are not only for Christmas, I thought for now, a nice warming soup would do the trick.
And as the temperature falls at this time of year, and we start talking about the first frosts, root veg like the parsnip come into their own.
Seemingly it has something to do with the cold weather turning the starch into sugar, therefore in the winter, parsnips tend to be sweeter.
This is such a simple and speedy soup with only a few ingredients, plus the addition of a teaspoon of medium curry powder to give a spicy kick that offsets the creaminess of the parsnips.
Good knob of butter & tablespoon of olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon of medium curry powder
Peel and roughly chop the parsnips and onions.
Saute the onions in the butter and oil until soft, (don’t let them colour) then add the parsnips.
Stir everything together and cook slowly for 5 minutes before adding the curry powder.
Mix again to coat the veg with the curry powder and cook for a little longer, about 3 minutes.
Add 500ml chicken stock and 500ml semi skimmed milk.
Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the parsnips are soft and mush when you squeeze a chunk between your fingers.
Let it cool slightly, then blitz well with a stick blender until velvety smooth, with no lumps.
If the soup seems too thick, loosen with a little more milk or stock.
Season to taste if needed.
Sometimes, if the soup is really thick, I change tack at this point, and instead of thinning down all the soup, I keep half of it and use it as a puree.
It makes a fantastic starter, with a few dollops of puree dotted on the plate topped by a seared scallop and sprinkled with some pan fried pancetta and herb breadcrumbs.
But back to the soup, which I serve with some sweet red apple, garam masala, pumpkin seeds and parsley sprinkled over the top.
Here is the quick recipe if you fancy something different from crusty bread. 1 Dessert apple, unpeeled and diced Good pinch of garam masala spice A little olive oil Tbsp of pumpkin seeds Some chopped parsley
Saute the apple in the olive oil with the spice until softish and slightly caramelised, then add the pumpkin seeds and parsley.
You can do this in advance and cover until needed.