I don’t know about you, but I am a friend of parsnips. If friendship means you like to eat things, that is. I know it’s not up there on the top of everyone’s Favourite Veg List, but I love the earthy flavour of it and how it sweetens up stews. It loves sausages and I often use it a sausage casserole like this, especially at this time of year when the parsnips are coming into their own, flavour-wise.
As I mentioned before, I’ve taken up horse-riding on Saturday afternoons. It’s motivation for me to get away from The Internet for awhile and do some exercise, but it’s also, like, the most fun thing ever. And it’s genuinely muscle-clenchingly hard work, too.
So I’ve been coming home the past few Saturdays after a morning’s trotting positively starved. As the days are getting a little nippier, it’s mainly soups that I’ve been craving, which is how I came to find Jamie Oliver’s Spicy Parsnip Soup recipe.
I changed the method a bit and halved the recipe, so that there was just over enough for two. The original recipe is here, which serves four, if you’d prefer to have a look at that!
What you need for Spicy Parsnip Soup for 2 to 3
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 heaped teaspoon of curry powder (the original recipe uses Garam Masala but I used Madras curry powder as that’s what I had to hand)
3 large parsnips
300ml of coconut milk (I used a light coconut milk and it worked really well)
500ml good-quality vegetable or chicken stock
Small handful of dried chilli flakes, to serve
2 heaped tablespoons of natural yogurt, to serve
Some fresh coriander, to serve
4 mini naan breads, to serve
Start by heating a drizzle of olive oil over a medium to low heat in a large, deep saucepan, good for making soup.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion. Then, finely chop the garlic clove. Now, peel and finely chop the ginger. Add everything to the hot (but not too hot!) saucepan and cook gently for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft but nothing is browned.
Meanwhile, peel the parsnips and chop them into similarly-sized chunks so that they cook at the same time.
When the onions have had 10 minutes, add the curry powder to the mix. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Don’t worry if it gets dry, just keep mixing it so nothing sticks to the bottom.
Now you can add the parsnips plus a little drop of oil. Mix everything well so the parsnips are coated with the curry and onion mixture.
Add the stock and the coconut milk. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, check that the parsnips are tender. If so, whizz the soup with a hand-held blender, or transfer it to your food processor, until smooth. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needs be.
I left my soup quite thick, because I love thick soup. But feel free to add a bit of hot water to this soup until you reach a texture more pleasing to you.
Serve the soup piping hot, with a sprinkling of chilli flakes, a dollop of yogurt and some fresh coriander on top. Oh, and some warmed mini naan breads on the side for company.
You can have a listen to my radio show, Right Click Radio, which goes out on RTE 2xm on Wednesday evenings at 9pm, if it tickles your fancy! Below is my show from the end of October, which features Chairlift, Phantogram, Young Man, Na Hawa Doumbia and a good few more.