As autumn winds slide into winter frosts food is as much about keeping you warm as it is about nourishment. Parsnips are a wonderful, cheap, low-FODMAP and plentiful winter staple but I don’t deny they can be awkward to cook with. Often I will roast them, or add plenty of chilli to mask a bit of the, sometimes overwhelming, flavour. This time I wanted a large soup, with enough leftovers to for me to freeze individual portions that I could use for quick lunches or teatimes. Parsley came in because I’d never before noticed the similarity between the words parsley and parsnip. The Our House For Tea approach works like that, it isn’t entirely scientific, but it works! I found the best way to cut through the rich parsnip flavour was to add a little lemon juice, more salt than I would normally use and forgo the usual chilli for lots of black pepper.
Prep 10 minutes, cooking time 40 minutes
1 kg parsnips
2 tbsp. olive oil
Scant 1/8th tsp. asafoetida
1.2 litres chicken stock
1 tsp. salt flakes
2 large handfuls of curly parsley, very roughly chopped
6ooml almond milk
2 tsp. lemon juice
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
Optional to serve - 8 rashers cooked, crispy, smoked streaky bacon, crumbled and a few reserved parsley leaves.
Peel and chop the parsnips and carrots into even sized 1.5cm pieces. In a heavy based pan warm the oil over a medium high heat. Add the vegetables to the oil and fry off for 2 minutes before covering the pan and allowing the vegetables to sweat for 5 minutes. You will need to stir occasionally, to prevent the vegetables sticking.
Add the chicken stock and salt then bring up to the boil before turning down the heat, covering with a lid and simmering for 30 minutes. You may need to stir occasionally, remove from the heat when the vegetables are soft. Add the parsley, reserving a small amount to serve.
Liquidise the soup in batches, then return to the pan with the almond milk and lemon juice to warm through. Taste and add as much freshly ground black pepper as you wish – we like lots! Serve with the crumbled bacon on top, more black pepper and any remaining parsley leaves.