Soup has always been a starter for me rather than a meal in itself. Any suggestions in the past by Hubby to have soup and nothing but soup was met with my sulky face and a not very under my breath mutter of “It’s a waste of food inventory…” And then he made me his so-delicious-its-almost-indecent butternut squash soup last year… After eating my own body weight in the stuff and finding myself feeling not at all cheated of a meal I didn’t really have any choice but to revise my opinion of soup, including the putting away of the sulky face (!)
So with the onset of Autumn I thought I’d try and expand my quite limited soup portfolio this year with a some new recipes. This weekend was the first quiet weekend we’d had in ages, perfect to get souping, starting with something distinctly seasonal. It turned out rather well, if I may say so myself 🙂 And I’m sure the skies turning dark and the heavens opening just as we sat down to eat this with a few cheeky posh sausage rolls only added to the comfortingness of the soup.
The original recipe is by Flourishing Foodie as discovered and drooled over on Foodgawker, and I was as inspired by the photo composition as I was by the idea of a soup made out of roasted parsnips. I love parsnips, and roasting them really heightens their sweetness and that nutty flavour they have. And any worries I might have harboured about the combination of parsnips and apple being too sweet were sorted out by Flourishing Foodie’s quite inspired topping of a few shavings of parmesan, adding a lovely deep savoury note (umami for the win!).
I’ve frozen the leftovers in single portions for later, including the leftover half loaf of sourdough (croutoning up a whole loaf for just two of us seemed a little daft) so that I can make those delicious croutons again too. And I’m thinking of adding a wee drizzle of garlic flavoured olive oil over the soup before decorating with the croutons and herbs next time. I’ll let you know how that turns out 🙂
And I’m never ever buying store bought croutons again, EVER!!
- 2 lbs parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 60 grams salted butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 large apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and chopped
- 2.5 pints chicken stock/broth
- 1/2 cup double cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh loaf of bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (cannot recommend sourdough enough!)
- fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved
- herbs to garnish (parsley, basil, oregano or tarragon should all work)
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Toss the chopped parsnips in the olive oil until all the pieces are mostly coated, then lay them out on a baking tray in a single layer. Roast for 60 minutes, turning them every 20 minutes until they’re tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.
- Set the stewpot over a medium heat and add the butter. When it’s beginning to foam and has turned a light brown add the onions. When they’re lovely and translucent stir in the nutmeg.
- Next, add the apples, potato, and roasted parsnips to the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Give it a stir every now and then to stop it from sticking or burning.
- Then add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil before reducing the heat right down until the stock is simmering and leave it to bubble away gently for half an hour.
- After that, check the veg is ready – you want it soft enough again to pierce easily with a fork. If you’re using a traditional blender scoop the veg out, or sieve it over a large bowl to catch and keep the liquid bit of the soup , and blend until it’s a lovely smooth puree (you might need to do this in batches).
- Add the pureed veg back into stewpot with the liquid soup, add the double cream, stir well, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Keep warm on a low-medium heat until you’re ready to serve. If the soup is a little too thick then add some milk or water to thin and recheck your seasoning.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Slice the bread in one inch cubes – if you want an extra crispy crunch leave the crusts on. Toss your bread cubes in a light drizzle of olive oil and salt and then lay them out on a baking tray in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes, or until they’re as brown (or not brown!) as you like them.
- Dish up your soup and drop in some of the fresh croutons (be generous!), shave some Parmesan cheese over the top, and garnish with a leaf or two of your herb of choice (or a light sprinkle of dried herbs).
- Makes about 3.5 pints of soup