Autumn, Winter, Light Meals, Soup

Roasted Parsnip Soup with Pickled Apple

This recipe includes two humble seasonal ingredients and transforms them into one delicious bowl of yumminess.
Don’t be put off by the pickled apple, it’s so simple to make but also not essential by any means, if all you have is a crusty roll to had its still a winner!

This soup is silky smooth, the hint of tartness from the apples working perfectly with the sweet earthy parsnip. I like my soups to have a bit of texture, either in the soup itself or in the toppings and side dishes, so although none of the extras suggested here are compulsory, I'd urge you at the very least to serve this gorgeous soup with croutons or crusty bread.Toasted hazelnuts add a good crunch, and are a match made in heaven with parsnip and apple. To finish, sage leaves really lift the soup, adding a little bitterness which helps balance the flavours, while a grating of fresh nutmeg gives a warming final flourish. I hope you enjoy!

SERVES:
4

Ingredients

750g parsnips peeled

1 apple I used granny smith peeled, cored cut into 8

1 small onion diced

3 garlic cloves bashed with the side of a knife

2 tbs light oil

A few thyme sprigs

A sprig of sage leaves

1.5-2 litres vegetable stock

100ml oat cream or alternative (optional)

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Quick Pickled Apples

2 apples I used granny smith peeled cored and diced

125ml apple cider vinegar

125ml water

50g caster sugar

50ml maple syrup

1 tsp sea salt

2 star anise

½ tsp mustard seeds

5 black pepper corns

1 bay leaf

To Serve

Small handful toasted hazelnuts

Afew sprigs of Sage leaves

Extra virgin olive oil

Nutmeg

Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/Gas 5.
  2. In a small pan add all the ingredients except the apple and bring to a boil and then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled add the diced apples cover and set aside.
  3. Roughly chop the parsnip into two-inch chunks. Place on a lined baking tray, with the apple pieces and garlic cloves, a few thyme sprigs, drizzle with a little oil, and sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Place in the oven until cooked through and golden – this should take around 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a large pan over a low heat, and add the onion and a sprig of sage. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is turning translucent and lightly golden.
  5. When the parsnip and apples are cooked add to the pan and stir. Remove the garlic from its skin and mash into the pan with the back of a spoon. Remove any thyme sprigs and the sage spring.
  6. Now add the stock and cream and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the contents of the pan into a blender and blitz until silky smooth. A stick blender will work too, although it won't be quite as smooth.
  8. Return the soup to the pan, check for seasoning, and add a good grating of fresh nutmeg. Keep the soup warm on a low heat while you prepare your toppings.
  9. Roughly chop your toasted hazelnuts and set them aside.
  10. Heat an inch of groundnut oil in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the oil begins shimmering, but before it reaches smoking point, carefully drop in a sage leaf. If it sizzles gently, the oil is ready.
  11. Drop your sage leaves into the oil, fry until crispy, then carefully remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on kitchen towel. Next, cook your parsnip slices in batches, draining them on the kitchen towel and sprinkling over a little salt.
  12. When you're ready to serve, pour your hot soup into bowls, and add a couple of small spoonful’s of pickled apple, a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts, crisp sage leaves, a little grate of nutmeg and grind of black pepper. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil to finish, if you like.

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