Nothing in the fridge, let’s make soup!
There were a few lonely looking carrots and parsnips in the fridge and now that Autumn has finally arrived I thought a warming spicy soup would suit nicely.
Turmeric, cumin and coriander add a light curried spice and although beautifully subtle they enrich the sweetness of the roots. I think carrot and/or parsnip soup on its own is too sweet; it needs this spicy kick.
Spicy Root Soup
6 small parsnips
4 cloves of garlic, whole in skins
1 onion, diced
500ml chicken/vegetable/bouillon stock
1tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and Pepper
Peel and chop your roots into large chunks, roughly the same size. Put in a roasting dish with 1/2 the cumin seeds, the thyme, a few knobs of butter and enough olive oil to lightly coat the roots. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast the roots on gas mark 4 (180 degrees) for about 40 minutes or until they are soft. Turn them frequently as you do not want them to caramelise as you normally would as this will make them hard to puree and you’ll end up with lumps.
Add the garlic cloves (in their skins) for the final 15 minutes.
Heat a knob of butter in a large pan and fry your onions gently for 10 minutes with the lid on. Grind the remaining cumin seeds and add them to the onions with the turmeric and coriander. Cook the spices for a minute so they release their aroma.
Remove roots from oven and separate garlic cloves, squeeze the flesh out of the skins and add this to the onion and spice mix.
Add the roasted roots and all the juices and spices left in the roasting tray and stir to combine. Pour over hot stock, add Parmesan rind (this adds a lovely richness but is not compulsory!) and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the Parmesan rind and discard.
Now puree! Either use a puree wand gizmo that my kitchen is sadly lacking (this makes for a smoother soup) or as I do, put it in a food mixer and whiz until smooth. (I think the only way for a truly smooth soup when made with root vegetables would be to sieve it at this stage, but really, who wants to do that?)
Return soup to the pan, add more stock if it’s too thick, season with salt and pepper and re-heat.
Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche swirled into the top and thick sliced sourdough toast with butter. Actually, this would be nice with a lovely fresh plain naan bread!