The first time I saw a parsnip, I thought it was a white carrot. I bought a whole bag, brought them home, and decided to taste one. Not bad, but definitely not a carrot – I didn’t buy them again for a while. The next time I had parsnip, it was in a soup. Then I had some roasted. Then I tried parsnip chips. Between the soup and the chips, I was sold, and I’ve been regularly buying parsnips ever since.
(one way to make a) parsnip soup
I made this soup in a pot for ease and rapidity, but a tasty alternative would be to roast all the vegetables and apple before incorporating the stock.
• a pot
• a wooden spoon (or any sort of utensil you like using to stir things with, really)
• a cutting board
• a good knife (i.e. one that won’t slip and slice you)
• an immersion blender (or a blender with an opening to let out hot steam — but immersion is easier/less messy)
» butter and/or olive oil*
» half a very large onion
» one carrot
» two medium-small potatoes
» one parsnip
» one apple
» about 1/2 litre vegetable stock (a bit more if you like a thinner soup)
*I used butter
1. Put a large pot on the stove and bring to a medium heat. Put in enough butter and/or olive oil to thinly cover the bottom of the pot.
2. Roughly chop the onion. Add to the pot. Stir.
3. Roughly chop the carrot. Add to the pot. Stir.
4. Finely chop the potatoes. Add to the pot. Stir.
5. Roughly chop the parsnip. Add to the pot. Stir.
6. Roughly chop the apple (without its core). Add to the pot. Stir.
7. By now, the vegetables are looking soft and there may be brown bits of delicious caramelized flavour at the bottom of the pot. Perfect. Pour in the stock. Stir it in, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so as to incorporate that flavour. Season with nutmeg and thyme (bonus if your thyme is fresh — mine was dried).
8. Blend until smooth. Taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary with salt, pepper, nutmeg and/or thyme. Add more stock if too thick for your taste.
9. Serve while hot. Top with more nutmeg and thyme, or with leftover-stale-bread-turned-into-croutons, or toasted pumpkin seeds, or a bit of fresh cream, or perhaps something tasty and green.
Perfect as a starter, a side, or a main dish. Whichever way you like it, make and serve it is as you wish!