This soup is silky smooth and has a hint of tartness from the apples, which works perfectly with the sweet parsnip. It’s finished with a warming grate of fresh nutmeg. I like my soups to have a bit of texture, either in the soup itself or in its toppings and sides. None of the extras are compulsory but at the very least serve with croutons or crusty bread. The sages leaves really lift it and add a little bitterness with helps balance the favours. Toasted hazelnuts add a good crunch and a match made in heaven with parsnip and apple. The parsnip crisps are super easy to make, but you really need a mandolin to cut them really thin. They are pretty in expensive to buy and I use mine so often for so many things, It’s really worth the investment mine cost £23. Once you get one you will wander what you ever did before!
750g parsnip. Hold a big one back for the crisps.
1 cup of roughly chopped apple, I left the skin on.
½ cup diced white onion
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 litre stock
Nutmeg to grate
½ cup hazelnuts
Small bunch sage leaves
Groundnut oil/odourless coconut/light olive/vegetable
Pre heat the oven to 190°C
Reserving 1 parsnip, roughly chop the rest into 2 inch chunks. Place on a lined backing tray, drizzle with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place in the oven, until cooked through and golden, approx. 20mins.
Add the onion to a large pans with a little oil and cook until turning translucent and lightly golden, add the crushed garlic cloves and cook for another couple of minutes. Add in the apple and stir till combined. Cook for another few minutes. Add a good pinch of salt and grind of black pepper.
Add the stock to the pan and stir to combine, allow to simmer gently until your parsnips are ready.
When the parsnips are done add them to the pan and give it a little stir. Place the hazelnuts on the tray the parsnips came off and place back into the oven until toasted, about 5 mins while you blitz the soup.
Pour the contents of the pan into a high speed blender and blitz until silky smooth. A stick blender will work too, but I can’t guarantee it will be as smooth.
Return to the pan and keep on a low heat whilst you prepare the toppings. Check for seasoning at this point too and add a good grate of fresh nutmeg.
Don’t forget about your hazelnuts, remove them from the oven and roughly chop.
In a frying pan add the groundnut oil until it comes up the side buy about an inch, I use quite a small frying pan. Heat to medium high, if the oil is too hot and smoking the parsnip will just burn.
Using a mandolin or if your knife skill are very good by hand, thinly slice the parsnip.
Once the oil is hot test with a sage leaf, this will off course cook quicker than the parsnip, but you don’t want is it to burn instantly.
When you’re happy the oil is hot enough cook your sage leaves first as this will flavour the oil ahead of the parsnips. Then cook parsnip rounds in batches and drain on kitchen towel. Giving them a little sprinkle of salt.
When you’re ready to serve, pour your hot soup into bowls, and add some of the toppings in any fashion you wish. Drizzle with a little extra virgin oil to finish.