Spicy Parsnip Soup

As promised, here’s a recipe for my Spicy Parsnip Soup, which was surprisingly sophistica-tasty for something so quick and easy to make. I got the basic inspiration from Jamie Oliver’s version, but as I didn’t have any ginger… or garam masala powder…or coconut (what’s left?!) I made my own spiciness. This makes a large batch of soup, plenty for 5-6 people. Here’s how:

6 parsnips (mine were large, so created a thicker soup), thoroughly scrubbed, then topped ‘n’ tailed and peeled (in my version, keep the tops, tails and peelings!)

Now make a litre of vegetable stock. Put the parsnip peelings together with a selection of roughly chopped veg (no need to peel): onion, carrots, celery etc into a saucepan with a litre of water, bring to the boil, cover and set on simmer for 40 minutes to make a vegetable stock. I actually only use vegetable peelings (nothing rotten or mouldy), which I collect over a week or two, continually adding to a zip-lock bag in the freezer, until I’ve got enough to make a stock from them.   Click here for my ‘waste not want not’ vegetable stock.

Meanwhile, roughly chop up a large onion and 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and start gently frying it in a large saucepan for 10 minutes with a big knob or two of butter. Grind together your spices. I used a level dessert spoon each of ground coriander seed and cumin. Add to the pan with a dessert spoon of turmeric, and mix into the onion. Finely chop 1 or 2 small chillies add stir in.

While that’s gently melding, cut up the parsnips into big chunks and stir into to the onion mix. Continue to cook gently, while you measure out 500ml of semi-skimmed milk. Add this to the parsnips and leave the heat on low.

The veg stock should be ready. Strain it off into a jug ready to pour into the soup… Let it settle for a minute as there’ll probably be a little sediment from the peelings. Try to avoid adding that into the soup. Use a muslin if you are fussy.

Once everything is together, add a lid, leave it on low simmer and cook together for about half an hour until the parsnip is soft but not over-cooked. Season with sea salt and ground pepper.

Whis the lot together using a hand blender (you could make yours smoother than mine if you prefer), ladle into bowls, and add some chopped coriander. Serve!


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