Soup Anyone?

I love soup – and Autumn is the time of year that I most want to tuck in to delicious, hot and thick soup.  I’ve said before that I cannot bear watery, sloppy sauces – well the same goes for soup.  It has to be thick and comforting, not thin and watery.  This Parsnip & Apple Soup I made the other day can stand up and be counted.  In fact, it was so thick I had to add extra stock to loosen it!

I used a good wedge(approx 1/4?) from one of the large Bramley apples I had used to make Toffee Apple Crumble, and a bag of parsnips which cost 69p – bargain!  So not only is this soup thick and comforting, it’s also economical(if you don’t like the word ‘cheap’!) and nutritious, and uses local autumnal produce – yay!

In the pot for Parsnip & Apple Soup:

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

Tbsp butter

500g Parsnips, peeled and sliced

Thick wedge of a Bramley apple, peeled, cored and sliced

Nutmeg – I used a grating of fresh, but maybe 1/2 tsp of dried?

Grinding of black pepper

50ml milk

500ml vegetable stock.

Fry off the sliced onion in the butter in a large pan, until it is soft and translucent.  Add the sliced parsnips and apple and stir for approx one minute, just to warm through. Pour in the stock, add in a grating of fresh nutmeg(or 1/2 tsp dried nutmeg) and a good grinding of black pepper. Stir well, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for approx 15 minutes – the vegetables need to be soft.

Stir in the milk, and then liquidise the soup until smooth – I used a hand-blender. Taste for seasoning – I shall add more black pepper when I serve this.

Enjoy – with toasted croutons…hot buttered toast…a sandwich – you choose!

In the making:

The main stars of the show.

Peeled and chopped/sliced – Note: Only a wedge of the apple.

Add a grating of fresh nutmeg to the pot:

Cook it all up, add the milk, liquidise…

…and serve!

Okay – it looks like thick gloop…white sauce…wall-paper paste, even?!!  But it tastes so good.  It’s savoury but with a slight tang of sour apple, and sweetness from the parsnips – good for exciting the taste-buds.  And the nutmeg flavour loiters in the background.

Some quirks of this soup:

I first made this after I had eaten it at Cafe Fleur in Looe, Cornwall(they don’t have a website to link to :-().  It was so good, and I thought I could replicate it.  At the time(and is often the case) I wanted to use up leftovers, so I didn’t have exact quantities.  I checked various recipes, to see what other cooks had to say about the matter – easy I thought!  It wasn’t…the first batch had far too much apple in it and it was unbearable to eat towards the end of a bowl.  The balance has to be right – that balance is plenty of parsnip and a little apple.

I edited the recipe for this batch as it was so thick after simmering that I had to add extra stock.  You might like to add even more if you prefer soup to be much thinner.

Seasonings are always a personal matter.  When using stock in any dish I never add salt – the stock usually provides that, and I like a little salt in food but not too much.  Taste as you go, to get it right.  I also don’t like an over-powering flavour of nutmeg, so you might want to add more/less according to preference.  I do like lots of ground black pepper!

The milk gives the soup creaminess.  I guess you could add cream, if it’s to hand, for a splash of luxury.

It freezes well – this quantity made three servings, two of which will go in the freezer for another day.

To serve this, I think I shall fry some sliced onion until crisp and plop it on top for a touch of colour and texture.  Happy Autumn!

Are you a parsnip lover?  Some people love ’em, some people hate ’em – bit like Marmite!

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