1 tblsp cooking oil
1 kg parsnips
1 birds eye chilli
3 bay leaves
1 stem of fresh thyme
2 litres water
Prep to Cook: Large soup pan lid, long handled stirring spoon, peeler, vegetable knife, chopping board, measuring jug
Prep: Peel the parsnips and cut into half
Cut the halves into 4 strips
Peel the onion and cut into half
Slice each half with veg knife from shoot to root about 8 – 10 thin slices
Put the cooking oil and butter into the large stock pan and melt it
Put onion and parsnips into the soup pan and fry off for up to 12 minutes
Peel the potato and dice and add to the soup pan continue to cook for 5 more mins
Add thyme, 3 bay leaves and the whole birds’ eye chilli
Add 1 – 2 litre of water to cover all the vegetables well
Put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes
Process the soup: remember to remove the bay leaves, chilli and thyme before you blend
Adjust the thickness by adding more stock if it is too thick
Serve with garlic croutons
A good January omen: If you are on a budget, make soup, if it is cold, make soup, if you are hungry, make soup. All in all I cannot suggest any other more satisfying way to eat well, feel well and make your money last.
This soup is made from cheap, tasty root vegetables that can be bought and stored until you feel like cooking.
Cooks Know How: Soup makes vegetable eating easy. The parsnips soften fairly quickly as they cook and also because of the starch in them they sweeten as they fry. Because of this it is essential to take time and fry gently at the start of the soup making, particularly with parsnips, onions and potatoes. The resulting soup will have good flavour that can be enhanced by the herb thyme, bay leaves and some seasoning with salt and pepper. The whole chilli adds heat and spice enough to make the soup warming. Once the vegetables are soft the processor can be used to make it a puree soup. I like to use a stick blender or hand-held blender in the pan and stir it around until the puree forms. This soup retains a beautiful pale white colour that makes it look wonderful when served with strands of watercress that also pick up a peppery flavour.
Adapt this recipe by using other white vegetables such as celeriac, leek or turnip and add one apple peeled and chopped as well to increase the sweetness.