Warming, nourishing soup was made for these cooler months. They are a cost-effective way of feeding the masses and best of all, you can use whatever vegetable is in season. For this recipe, choose locally-grown parsnips, fresh out of the field – particularly if there’s been a frost – they are all the more sweeter for it!
1 onion, diced
4 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
garlic oil (or olive oil)
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt & pepper
Begin by gently frying the onion in a little garlic or olive oil. After about 3 or 4 minutes, add the parsnip and fry gently for another 5 minutes. Then add the sweet potato and garlic cloves and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, perhaps adding a little more oil if necessary.
Add the spices and stir to coat the vegetables. Dry fry for a further 2 minutes until coated well.
Add a splash of stock to loosen the bottom of the pan. Then add a cupful of stock and simmer the vegetables for a few minutes. Gradually add the stock a ladleful at a time until you have covered the vegetables completely. You can add boiling water to increase the volume.
Allow the vegetables to simmer in the stock until soft - usually about 25 minutes but longer if necessary. Once cooked through, whizz the ingredients with a hand blender. Season to taste.
Serve piping hot with a drizzle of creme creche or Greek yoghurt. Finish with parmesan shavings and some toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. A final flourish of chopped parsley gives colour and a freshness to the soup.
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