Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup with Parsnip, Parmesan and Sage Bread

by Kristin on October 27, 2009

Smugglers Creek Inn in County Donegal is one of my favorite places to eat in Ireland. You can’t beat it in terms of location and atmosphere — dating back to 1845, this restaurant, pub and B&B is perched on a cliff overlooking Rossnowlagh beach and Donegal Bay, with the Bluestack Mountains in the distance. If you’re really lucky, you can nab one of the chairs in front of the open fire in the pub and settle in to have a pint before dinner. The restaurant specializes in seafood, but I still remember the curried parsnip and apple soup Matt ordered the first time we went there. I probably played it safe and ordered seafood chowder, thinking a parsnip and apple soup sounded odd, not to mention a curried one at that. But it was outstanding, and I’ve been making it myself at home ever since. Paired with this bread, it’s one of our favorite fall dinners, and is always one of the first soups I make once the weather turns cool.

Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup

Serves 4

4 tablespoons (60 g) butter
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh root ginger, chopped (optional)
1 heaped teaspoon Thai green curry paste (or 1 tablespoon curry powder)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 lb (450 g) parsnips, peeled and chopped (1 or 2 parsnips, depending on size)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1 3/4 pints (1 liter) vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (120 ml) plain yogurt or crème fraîche, to serve

Melt the butter in a pot, then add the onion, ginger, curry paste and cumin, cooking until the onions turn yellow, about 4 minutes. Add the parsnips, apple and potato and stir over a medium heat to coat the vegetables. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor, then return to the pot and season to taste. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and swirl in a spoonful of yogurt or crème fraîche.

***

Parsnip, Parmesan and Sage Bread
from Delia’s How to Cook: Book One by Delia Smith

Makes 1 loaf

If you want to serve this with the curried parsnip and apple soup and are worried the sage won’t compliment the soup, just leave it out (though I don’t mind it).

2 cups (240 g) self‐raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 oz (170 g) parsnips (peeled weight, about 1 big parsnip)
2 oz (60 g) Parmesan, cut into 1/4‐inch cubes, plus extra shavings for the topping
1 rounded tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease it very well) and set aside.

Sift the flour and salt into a large, roomy bowl, then put a grater directly in the bowl and coarsely grate the parsnips into the flour, then toss them around. After that, add the cubes of Parmesan and chopped sage and toss that in. Now lightly beat the eggs and milk together, then add this to the bowl a little at a time, mixing evenly with a wooden spoon. What you should end up with is a rough, rather loose, sticky dough, so don’t worry what it looks like at this stage. Transfer this to the baking sheet and pat it gently into a 6‐inch rough round, then make a cross on top with the blunt side of a knife. Now scatter the Parmesan shavings over the surface, followed by a sprinkling of flour. Finally, drizzle with just a little bit of olive oil.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, by which time it will be golden and crusty. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve while it’s still warm or reheat it later.

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