Autumn, Winter, Light Meals, Soup
This recipe takes two humble, seasonal ingredients, and transforms them into a delicious bowl of yumminess. Don’t be put off by the pickled apple, as it’s so simple to make – but if you really don't have time, it's not essential. If all you have to hand is a crusty roll, this soup is still a winner!
It's silky smooth, and the hint of tartness from the apples works perfectly with the sweet, earthy parsnip.
I like my soups to have a bit of texture, either in the soup itself or in its 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 also 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 slight bitterness that helps balance the flavours, while a grating of fresh nutmeg gives a warming final flourish. I hope you enjoy!
For the quick pickled apples
125ml apple cider vinegar
50g caster sugar
50ml maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
2 star anise
½ tsp mustard seeds
5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 apples – I used Granny Smiths – peeled, cored, and diced
For the soup
750g parsnips, peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks
1 apple – I used a Granny Smith – peeled, cored, and cut into 8 pieces
3 cloves garlic, bashed
A few sprigs thyme
2 tbsp light oil
1 small onion, diced
1 sprig sage leaves
1.5-2 litres vegetable stock
100ml oat cream or your preferred alternative
Fresh nutmeg, grated
Groundnut oil, for frying
A few sage leaves
½ parsnip, thinly sliced
Small handful toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Fresh nutmeg, grated
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
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