Sweet Parsnip and Apple Soup

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I know, I know. Yet another soup recipe. I just love the stuff! It’s so easy to eat, especially if you don’t feel like having anything too heavy. Not to mention it being extremely healthy and comforting. I make a pot of soup each week, trying to mix things up every time I do. No one wants the same soup every week, do they? This week I made a wonderful carrot and parsnip soup. Was there an abundance of parsnips in my house you might ask? Yes, yes there was. This soup was so smooth, a puree even. It was delicious. Yet it was nowhere near as good as the parsnip and apple soup that I had made the week before.

Why is it that I had never thought of adding fruit to soup? This soup was discovered when I went with my mom and sister to Bellissimo, a Mediterranean restaurant with a local twist which is situated in Waterford City. We went there for a light lunch. I had the most beautiful roasted goats cheese roulade salad. This salad was exciting and flavourful, unlike the salads that I make at home, which are a chore to eat. My sister opted for the crab cakes, which were delightful little round balls of deep flavour. My mother chose to go for an open sandwich and the soup of the day, which was of course, parsnip and apple soup. My mom would never normally choose soup when we dine out, but she loved the sound of this particular one, and for good reason. The apple gave this soup a slight texture of stewed apple, but it was so much lighter than that. I can only explain the soup as tasting light and fluffy. It had a wonderful sweetness to it. It wasn’t too sweet, but just right. The parsnip gave the soup the earthiness that it needed. Root vegetables are very dependable. It was just perfect. I love how so few ingredients can make such a memorable dish. 

We needed to experience this amazing concoction of flavours again, so I made a batch of this soup very soon. My own take was extremely close in flavour, which can only mean that Bellissimo also chose to use few ingredients. It’s what is done with the ingredients that matters.

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 400g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 400g apples (any sweet variety), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oil, for frying

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic and sweat until fragrant.
  2. Add the parsnips and apples and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, just about covering the contents of the pan.
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the parsnip is soft.
  5. Leave to cool a little before blending.
  6. Blend and return to the pan.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Cream or creme fraiche can be added at this stage, if you prefer your soup a little creamier.
  9. Serve with home made bread.

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