When we told my mother-in-law a while back, that I cook during the week and Chef P cooks on the weekend, her response was ‘how civilized!’, so as yesterday was Saturday, Chef P did the cooking.
The weather was a bit on the cool side, although not as cool as some of my friends pointed out to me in the Montgomery County area of PA. And when it’s cool outside, there’s nothing better than a nice warming bowl of soup and it doesn’t matter what kind it is. Soup to me is always comfort food. What do most of us want when we’re sick with cold and flu? Something warm and comforting; soup is the answer.
Now granted, neither of us are feeling under the weather, but soup did sound like a great idea. I have a great soup cookbook called Souped Up by Jane Pettigrew that I picked up at the used bookstore in town some time ago. It contains over 70 different soups, be it cold soups, cream soups, soups that are as hearty as a meal and recipes for stocks, essential equipment and even a brief history of soup.
Chef P chose a Curried Parsnip and Carrot Soup as he had just picked up a glut of parsnips from the reduced to clear section the night before, so what better way to use them up then with a big pot of soup!
~~CURRIED PARSNIP AND CARROT SOUP~~
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Tbsp medium curry powder *(see note at end)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2lb/900g parsnips, peeled and sliced
2lb/900g carrots, peeled and sliced
3 pints/60fl oz chicken stock or veggie stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml/5fl oz double/heavy cream
toasted pine nuts, to garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and gently fry until transparent. Add the garlic, curry powder, coriander and cumin, mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the parsnips and carrots, cover the pan and sweat over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes. Add the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool down a bit, then puree it in a food processor or blender until smooth. You may have to do this step in batches, depending on the size of your processor or blender.
Return the mixture to the pan and warm through.
Just before serving, add the cream and taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Warm through again, being careful not to allow the soup to boil. Serve garnished with toasted pine nuts, if using.
This makes a really large amount of soup, so plan on eating it for a couple of days after. Pair this with a sandwich for a good hot and hearty lunch to take to work and warm up in the microwave!
*You will note in the ingredients picture, a small jar with a skull and crossbones labeled ‘The Mixture’. This is a concoction Chef P came up with and we use it when we want to add a bit of heat and extra flavor. He added a 1/2 tsp of it to the soup. If you wish to add a bit more heat to your soup, add some cayenne or use a hot curry powder in place of the medium.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SOUP?