In a follow-up to yesterday’s post, where I made Kung Pao Chicken for our lunch meeting guests, I also had a soup that preceded the main course.
This soup has become a staple winter favourite in our house for the last three years, and is a favourite not least because it has been part of my adventures with parsnip http://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/new-227/.
This is also THE soup that prompted “I-think-I-have-always-hated-soup“ Himself to rethink his views.
As a member of the ex-Recipezaar website (now known as Food.Com) I found this recipe posted by member “Patchwork-Dragon” http://www.food.com/recipe/spicy-parsnip-and-carrot-soup-203270 and it has been a feature at family buffet meals, entertaining with friends as well as being a winter treat on our dinner table.
If you make this recipe, I’m sure she would be delighted if you could please be so kind as to leave her a review.
Over the years I have to confess to making a few personal changes: here are my notes:
- I have substituted red (or green) curry paste for the curry powder and we all prefer the deeper, more subtle complex flavours that it brings to the recipe.Add it carefully, starting with a small teaspoon and you will find a wonderful tangy (but not too fiery) heat in the aftertaste… fear not ! even fussy guests have come back for seconds. Experiment a little and increase to add more heat if you prefer. Personally we like spicy so use a heaped teaspoon of curry paste.
- using curry powder instead of curry paste gives quite a different flavour… also, I found that adding it when cooking the veggies or at the end also changes the flavour. I now prefer to use curry paste and to add it only at the blender stage, after the vegetables are totally cooked. The flavours stay more “pure” we think.
- I have added several peeled and diced potatoes to the recipe as they are a natural thickener and we love this soup thick!
- After running out of milk on time, I now skip the milk in the recipe as we found we liked it better without.
- I add plenty of freshly ground pepper, some whole bayleaf, but no salt. (Shhhhh ….No-one I’ve served it to knows this and nobody has missed it yet!)
- Cooking the vegetables in the olive oil before adding any other liquid gives amazing flavour.. skipping this step does make a difference to the result! ( I sometimes add a tablespoon of butter to the olive oil for a little extra yum factor)
I have given the recipe per the original and added my extras as “optional”
450g parsnips (1 lb)
225g carrots (1/2 lb)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
350 ml vegetable stock
300 ml skim milk
salt and pepper
1 small teaspoon Green (or Red) curry paste (or to taste) (optional)
3 potatoes, peeled and diced ( cook with carrot and parsnip) (optional)
2 bayleaf ( cook with vegetables but remove before blending!) (optional)
Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and cut parsnips and carrots into evenly sized pieces.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the vegetables, coat with oil,and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for a minute.
Stir in the stock and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool a little, and then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. If it’s too thick for your liking add more stock.
This is when I like to add the curry paste…
It’s the consistancy of mashed potato so I add some water to thin it….
I took these photos after it came out of the fridge and before heating it in the crock-pot later, so it looks thicker now than it ended up being when we served it. ( and the very top photo in this post is of an earlier batch, but still the same soup)
Reheat gently to serve.