Curry and parsnips may sound an odd combination but, believe it or not, this soup is absolutely delicious!
900g (about 2 lb) parsnips, peeled and trimmed 30g (2 Tbsp) butter 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed 1 rounded Tbsp curry powder 1 medium potato, peeled and diced 1.25 litres (US 2.6pints/UK 2.2 pints) unsalted chicken stock or vegetable water 1 tsp salt, or to taste 150ml (5 fl oz) cream, optional 1 tsp chopped fresh coriander (or substitute mint, parsley or snipped chives) Plain unsweetened yoghurt, optional
1 Cut the parsnips into wedges, then into thin slices, discarding any woody cores. Gently melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the parsnips, onion and garlic. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water, cover pan with a lid and cook gently for about 15 minutes, or until wilted and soft.
2 Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the potato cubes, and stir them through the other vegetables so they get coated in the curry mixture. Pour in just 1 litre of stock (reserve the remainder and add if necessary), and the salt.
3 Bring to the boil, removing any froth as it rises. Simmer, partially covered with a lid, for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are nice and tender. Cool soup for 10 minutes, then blend in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return the soup to the cleaned pan and check the consistency. If it is very thick (this alters depending on the starch content of the vegetables), blend in the extra stock.
4 If for immediate serving, reheat soup and finish off with cream if using. Swirl through chosen herb and serve hot. If liked, add a blob of plain yoghurt on top of each bowl or mug of soup.
Be warned: the soup will most likely discolour the plastic component of a food processor chopping blade (that’s curry for you!). If you prefer, mash the soup with a potato masher – it won’t be as smooth as when whizzed in a food processor, but it will still be delicious.
If you want to freeze the soup, prepare it to Step 3, cool then freeze. Thaw slowly before reheating and finish off as described.