This is a beautiful, warming winter soup that marries the sweetness of the roast parsnip with the mellow flavours of the spices. Top it with a swirl of cream and homemade parsnip crisps and it looks proper snazzy. Both the soup and crisps are easy to make but unless you are lucky enough to have two ovens you will need to cook them separately as they need different temperatures. You could prepare the soup in advance and make the crisps just before serving if need be. Or if you are not keen on parsnip crisps you could top the soup with shaved parmesan instead – just as gorgeous. Allow about 50 mins in total if you have two ovens or 1 hour 15 mins if you have one.
You will need to buy a few spices if you don’t already own them but this is worth it as they are staple spices in Indian style cooking. As the soup is quite subtle you could even try it out on kids..!
For more winter soup and topping ideas check out this previous post http://katielovescooking.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/fantastic-variations-on-a-roast-autumnwinter-soup/. And for straightforward and delicious recipes using similar spices click here http://katielovescooking.wordpress.com/category/indian/.
Roast parsnip soup with parsnip crisps (serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)
700g parsnips, 600g chopped in to small chunks plus 100g put aside for the parsnip crisps
1 onion, cut in to 8 chunks
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 veg stock cubes e.g. Oxo
Put the chopped parsnip and onion in a non-stick baking tray and coat in plenty of olive oil. Shake over the spices and garlic and mix everything together so it is evenly coated. Pop in the oven at gas mark 6 for approx. 30 mins until lightly browned and softish. Ensure you shake the tray a couple of times during roasting to prevent burning.
Meanwhile/afterwards set the oven to 160 degrees/gas mark 3. Peel the remaining 100g parsnips (approx. one or two) in to thin strips, mix with plenty of olive oil and salt and pepper and spread evenly over a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until browned and slightly crispy but not burnt. Keep a close eye on this.
Put the spiced roast parsnips and onions (not crisps!) in a saucepan and add a glass of hot water along with two crumbled stock cubes. Blend in a mixer or with a hand blender and then add water gradually until you get the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper. If you accidentally make the soup too watery just simmer it until it thickens.
Top with a swirl of single or double cream and the parsnip crisps and serve.