31 March 2012

Curried Parsnip Soup



The days are starting to get a little shorter, the mornings a little cooler and daylight-saving is this weekend, a sign if ever there was one that Summer is officially over. Though March has proved to be a little bit of an Indian Summer, glorious sunshiny days and I think when we get them at this time of year we appreciate them so much more than at the high of Summer when our expectations are so much higher. Each sunny day now is a bonus to be savoured before Autumn and Winter set in.


One thing about the cooler climes is soup.  I am a fan of soup, all sorts of soup.  One of life's simple pleasures and so simple to throw together. Vegetables, water and just a little seasoning can be transformed in to a bowl of nourishing comfort that can satisfy, rejuvenate, hearten and even fight off colds and flu.




Mum always has a freezer full of all sorts of soup; lentil, broth,celery (seriously good), broccoli perhaps spiked with a little cheese.  My favourite remains her lentil soup which no matter how hard I try I just can't quite replicate.  A good, even great, lentil soup I can make but is just not quite the same. So every time Mum visits form the mother country top of the list of to do is to fill my freezer with a batch of her lentil soup to tide me over until her next visit.


My Gran would also always have a batch of soup on the stove and her piece de resistance was her potato soup. On visits home there would always be a bowl of potato soup.  Sadly we have no recipe but Mum has been faithfully trying to replicate it and we now have a recipe cobbled together so watch this space as it will most definitely feature this Winter.  The key ingredient for Gran's potato soup....good lamb stock and by that I mean lamb stock made with leg of lamb!!!  I kid you not, it is not surprising that it tasted so wonderful.


The first soup of the season came about due to a few parsnips loitering in the fridge and I recalled an old Delia Smith recipe; curried parsnip soup.  Bright and fragrant it is warm and satisfying.




Curried Parsnip Soup, inspired by a recipe from Delia Smith


Serves 6


Ingredients


1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
8 cardamom pods, seeds only
3 tbsp olive oil
2 small or 1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 large parsnips, approx 500g, roughly chopped
1 Lt / 4 cups chicken stock
1 apple, peeled and cored
Salt and pepper


To Garnish
Sour cream and chaat masala


For the parsnip crisps
Olive oil
1/2 parsnip finely sliced




Directions


Heat a small skillet over a a medium heat and add the coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds.  Toast them gently for a  moment or 2 until they release their aromas.  Keep a close eye on then as you don't want them to catch and burn.  Once toasted grind them in a pestle and mortar and set aside.




In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onion.  Season with a pinch of salt and saute for a few minutes until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes.  Add the ground spices, turmeric and Dijon and give it all a good stir.  Cook gently for a couple more minutes and then add the parsnips and stir again.  Add the stock and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer on the lowest possible heat for 1 hour uncovered.




After an hour liquidise the soup in a blender or with a stick mixer.  Taste and adjust seasoning if need be.  Just before serving heat up the soup and then grate in the apple and let it simmer just for a moment or 2.  Ladle the soup in to bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, a few parsnip crisp and a sprinkle of chaat masala*.


*Chaat masala, a totally addictive Indian spice mix that can be sprinkled over just about anything. It is usually a mixture of dried mango powder, cumin, black salt, coriander, ginger, salt, black pepper and chilli powder. It is sweet and sour and delicious.


The turmeric gives the soup a wonderful vibrant yellow hue and the apple adds just the right amount of sweetness to complement the sweetness of the parsnips.  All the spices add a depth and warmth that make this soup so comforting, topped with a little sour cream, crunchy parsnip chips and a dusting of chaat masala make it a whole meal in a bowl.




If you like this might like this Spiced Roast Carrot and Lentil Soup with Toasted Dukkah Flat Breads
One year ago Lemon Lime Meringue Pie


Enjoy!

25 comments:

  1. Delicious! Someone was telling me Just last night that I had to try parsnip soup! Perfect timing :)

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    1. Thanks Mags, yes perfect now that summer is well & truly over!

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  2. Thanks, Love parsnips...and they work so well with all the spices & just that little sweetness from the apple :)

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  3. looks comforting enough for our Autumn weather. Gosh, it is chilly here in the countryside!

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    1. Thanks Arfi, yes cooler moorings for sure....though lucky to still have had some spectacular days :)

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  4. Curried parsnip soup sounds perfect for the wet and rainy day we've had here today!

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    1. Thanks Emma....definitely heading in to soup weather :)

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  5. I never know what to do with parsnips so I'm delighted to find this recipe. Thank you!

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    1. Hi El, you should try it...they're also delicious roasted with a little maple syrup!

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  6. Looks gorgeous Mairi, I love parsnips, and the warmth of curry flavours in soup. And no curry powder in sight! - Jemma at timeforalittlesomething.com

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    1. Thanks Jemma, it is definitely a bowl full of warmth :)

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  7. Unfortunately I haven't seen any parsnips at my farmer's market lately but the next time I do I hope I remember to check back to this post to try this soup. I've never thought of combining curry and parsnips but it sounds wonderfully warming.

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    1. Thanks Angelina, the spices just work wonders with the sweetness of the parsnip :)

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  8. i really love soup sounds like a perfect combo waiting for a chilly afternoon x

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  9. I love soups too and had a great parsnip and apple when in Cornwall, love that you have ground your own spice. I was inspired by our Mexican dinner the other night and made a Mexican style soup and the chili lime beer!

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    1. Hi Alli, I see you've infiltrated blogger! Looking forward to Mexican style soup :)

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  10. Sounds lovely.Gordon Ramsay also does a very nice spicy parsnip soup.

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    1. Thanks Mum, I'll check Gordon out too :)

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  11. Parsnip soup is simply delicious and topped with crunchy parsnip chips? Ohhh, yes please!

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    1. Thanks Hannah, yes the chips make it seem a little indulgent :)

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  12. I'm with you, soup is the soul food for the short dark days. This is a wonderful recipe and one that will see an outing several times over winter I am sure.

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    1. Thanks Julie, she's pretty fail proof is Delia :)

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  13. I guess we all know that the seasons up North and down Under are different, but it still hits me as a surprise whenever I come across a blog post from Australia/New Zealand emphasising this fact again :) The days are getting longer here, and the summer is just around the corner. I blogged about a rather similar curried parnsip soup in December (see here: http://nami-nami.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-recipes-2011-curried-parsnip.html ), and when your post link popped up on Blogher, I was wondering why anyone would cook something as wintry in April :) Then I realised you're writing in New Zealand :)

    LOVE the photos!!!

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    1. Thanks Pille :) Must check out your parsnip soup.

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