Friday 14 August 2015

Spiced Roast Parsnip & Kumara Soup

The one thing I love about wintery days is soup! I would eat soup with toast twelve months of the year if I could, great comfort food. But somehow when the day is hot and sunny, eating soup is not the way to go.(And no, I'm not a fan of cold soup).
I would not describe the weather in recent weeks as mild, in fact (in Wellington) it has been unusually cold. My thick woolly jumpers have made a rare appearance after being tucked away for many years of living in this 'mild' city.
Based on my previous experience of southern winters, I packed a thick woolly jumper in my suitcase to wear while on a recent trip to my home city. Surprisingly, I found the weather to be mild so said garment stayed in my bag, which only gave me an excuse to purchase a few light extras to wear while I was on holiday. I think I just picked the right week, as a week later the snow was back!
to the soup........
I have a number of perennial soup favourites but I love to try new ingredients with new flavours.
I came across this lovely recipe by Bernadette Hogg in the NZ House and Garden July 2015 edition. I have now made it about six times. I love it. Parsnips are always a winner for me and this is especially nice due to the addition of the Sumac parsnip chip garnish. I also love the flavour of cumin in dishes.
The recipe makes a lot and freezes well. It reminds me (sadly), it would be lovely to be able to grow parsnips in my garden.......

Spiced Roast Parsnip & Kumara Soup
1kg medium parsnips (plus one- two extra for the garnish)
200g red kumara
1 onion - all above chopped into even sized pieces
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves of garlic - skins on
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp green curry paste (which includes shrimps, making this dish not strictly vegetarian)
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
200ml of cream (I left this out as my soup was beautiful and thick without it, garnishing it with drizzled cream is as nice)
2 medium parsnips
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 tsp sumac
2 tsp flaky salt

Heat oven to 220C. Line a baking dish with baking paper.
Place parsnips, kumara, onion, cumin seeds and garlic in baking dish.
Add olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Roast until the vegetables are slightly caramelised and tender, about 35 minutes, tossing them once or twice during the cooking.
Meanwhile add a little olive oil to a large saucepan and heat to low/medium heat. Add green curry paste and cook gently, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Once vegetables are cooked, pop the garlic from the skins and add to the saucepan along with the other vegetables and stock.
Using a stick blender, blend until smooth.
Bring soup to boil, then lower to a simmer and add cream.

I could eat a plate of these on their own
Serve with Sumac chips
Chips: Use a potato peeler and cut parsnip into long, thin strips.
Deep fry the strips in batches in hot oil until golden.
Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with combined sumac and salt.
The recipe is so inexpensive to make and will be a hit with parsnip lovers!