Sunday, 20 October 2013

spicy parsnip soup

It's been a bit quiet in the world of Live Local Greens for the last week or so. Hope you haven't missed me too much! But time is just flying by before me and I don't seem to have had a chance to stop and think, let alone cook.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've recently started a great new job but it does mean that I've been focusing all my energy on that, as well as starting to look for a new home for me and my boyfriend, and by the time I get home it's all I can do to make a vague attempt at something half decent for dinner, followed swiftly by bedtime. Combine that with a busy busy weekend last weekend, full of family, birthdays and babies, and here I am one week later finally getting some down time. Phew!

I'm not very good at doing nothing, and always feel like my time should be filled with some kind of productive task. Even if I know that I'll just be chilling at home, I still have to schedule in 'brunch and papers' time, or 'read my book on the sofa with a cup of tea' time. But after the blur that has been the past couple of weeks, I was very glad to arrive at the weekend with very little plans made. The truth is, it's so important to have those free days, and to let yourself relax without the need to do something 'constructive'. How often do we give ourselves the opportunity to just stop, unwind and reboot? I'm definitely going to start making a conscious effort to do so.

And with the heavens opening on Sunday and scuppering all plans of going for a walk, what else to do but make soup? When it's raining and miserable outside I do love pottering about in the kitchen with the radio on and a mug of tea by my side, coming up with tasty food to warm the cockles and the soul.

We got lots of (soil covered!) parsnips in the veg bag last week. I love parsnips but only really know two ways with them; roasted as a tasty party of a Sunday lunch, or in a soup. And soups are great but I did think that the parsnips might need something to jazz them up a bit, so added a bit of spice and the result was a lovely, warming, parsnip-y soup with a bit of a kick!

I hope you've had some time out too this weekend!

Spicy parsnip soup
(Makes 4 servings)

glug of olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
tsp garam masala
thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
5 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped into smallish chunks
1 litre of vegetable stock
black pepper
natural yoghurt (optional)

Heat the olive oil and fry the onions on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli flakes and garam masala and fry for another 5 minutes.

Add the parsnips and fry for a couple of minutes, making sure they are coated with the spices.

Add the stock and black pepper to taste. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the parsnips are very soft.

Blend in a food processor or with a hand held blender. I tend to blend it so there are still a few chunks still in there for a bit of texture, but you could blend it until completely smooth if desired.

Serve with extra black pepper and a dollop of yoghurt mixed through and some tasty bread for dunking!

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