Roasted Parsnip and Cumin Soup
This hearty soup is ideal for a winter weekend lunch. Roasting the parsnips before adding them to the soup really does concentrate the flavour and brings out earthy sweetness. A garnish of Parsnip Wisps (see below) adds
parsnips 5 medium (500–600g total weight)
rapeseed oil 3 tbsp
cumin seeds 1½ tsp, crushed
sugar ½ tsp
sea salt ¼ tsp
freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp
chicken stock or vegetable stock 1.2 litres (from a pouch or homemade)
butter 3 tbsp
onion 1, finely chopped
potato or sweet potato 1 large, peeled and diced
soured cream to garnish
Parsnip Wisps (see below)
flat leaf parsley leaves a few to garnish
1) Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
2) Peel the parsnips then halve crossways. Quarter the thicker pieces lengthways, so you have batons of more or less equal thickness.
3) In a shallow dish, mix together the oil, 1 teaspoon of the cumin seeds, the sugar, sea salt and black pepper. Add the parsnips and toss with your hands until well coated.
4) Spread the parsnips and the cumin sludge in a single layer on a roasting tray. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons of the stock. Roast for 25–35 minutes, turning every so often, until golden and browned at the edges.
5) While the parsnips are roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently fry the onion and potato with the remaining ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds. Cover and leave to sweat for about 5 minutes or until soft, shaking the pan to prevent sticking. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil then simmer until the parsnips are roasted. Pour into a jug and leave to cool a little.
6) Once the parsnips are roasted, tip them onto a plate and leave to cool a little.
7) Tip half the parsnips into a food processor along with half the other vegetables and their liquid Purée until smooth, then pour into the saucepan. Repeat with the remaining parsnips and liquid, and add to the saucepan. Thin with a little water or stock if the mixture is too thick.
8) Reheat gently, and check the seasoning.
9) Pour into bowls, swirl in some soured cream, then sprinkle with parsnip wisps and a few parsley leaves for colour.
Peel 3 small parsnips and slice into very thin strips. Heat 6 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a small frying pan until shimmering. Stir in the parsnips and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes until golden. Remove immediately and drain on paper towels.
Variation: Use very thin strips of peeled fresh root ginger. The punchy flavour goes well with the sweetness of parsnips.
Recipe © Christine McFadden from The Farm Shop Cookbook published by