This soup could have been designed for January detoxes. Wheat- and dairy-free (well, if you use olive oil for the sautéeing), it is still comfortingly thick and warming without being loaded with fat and potatoes. Yes, the parsnips are starchy but the apple and spices lighten them and you don’t need to eat much of it to feel full. I would never have thought of putting spices with parsnip but they work well together and once I’d made Delia’s version I spotted very similar recipes in Canteen‘s cookbook and in one of Sarah Raven’s so it’s in good company. You may find that it’s a bit too thick for you after blending so thin it down to your liking bearing in mind that the grated apple will lighten it too. A rare example of something being both hearty and healthy.
Curried parsnip soup (adapted from Delia’s Winter Collection)
For two portions you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
butter, 25g or replace with another dessertspoon of olive oil
olive oil, 1 dessertspoon
white onion, 1
garlic clove, 1
vegetable stock, 500ml fresh or a cube that can be made up to 500ml
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
parsnips, 350g (about 3)
apple, 1 small dessert
coriander seeds, 1 level teaspoon
cumin seeds, 1 level teaspoon
whole cardamom pods, 3
ground turmeric, 1 level teaspoon
ground ginger, 1 level teaspoon
1. Peel, top and tail and chop the parsnips, onions and garlic. Make up the stock, if necessary.
2. Put a small frying pan over a low heat, add the coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds and leave to cook for a couple of minutes until they start to smell fragrant and toasty. Tip them into a pestle and mortar, if you have one, and crush them. Or tip them onto a heatproof chopping board and crush them with a rolling pin.
3. Warm the oil and butter, if using, in a saucepan then add the onions and garlic. Cook them until softened (about five minutes) not coloured.
4. Tip in the crushed spices, and the turmeric and ginger, stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the parsnips, stir to mix together well, then add the stock, season and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 25 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and blend then return it to the saucepan to reheat.
7. Whilst the soup is reheating, peel and core the apple then grate into the soup. Let the apple warm through (a minute or so), season and serve.