CRAVEN College’s Jamie Fletcher provides another of his favourite recipes. He has over 10 years’ experience working in bars and restaurants, including a 15-month stint as a sous-chef in the south of France.
YOU may be fed up of parsnips after Christmas but try them in this warming Spiced Parsnip and Coconut Soup. This will make enough to serve four hungry people.
Parsnips go really well with Indian spicing. Here we've used Thai flavours in a red curry paste instead of the usual Indian spices. Adding coconut milk makes the soup extra creamy but if you're not a fan, feel free to substitute for the equivalent amount of stock or water - just be aware that the finished texture of the soup may not be as smooth.
knob of butter or slug of oil
1 onion roughly chopped
about 1 tablespoon red curry paste, more if you prefer a slightly spicier soup
1 kg parsnips
440ml (1 tin) coconut milk
1/2 litre of vegetable stock or water
A small handful of crushed peanuts
Fresh chopped coriander leaves
Wash, peel and trim both ends of the parsnips. If they are particularly large then they may have a tough woody core - trim this out too.
Chop the peeled parsnips into chunks – about 2cm across.
Melt the butter or oil in a good-sized pan over a medium heat and add the onion, stirring well. Fry gently until the onions are translucent - this shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
Tip in the Thai curry paste and the parsnips. Give everything a good stir and fry together for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now pour in the coconut milk and enough stock (or water) to cover and add a good pinch of salt. Simmer very gently until the parsnips are tender and cooked through - about 15- 20 minutes.
Allow the hot soup to cool slightly then puree really well until the soup is silky smooth. It’s quickest and easiest to do this with a stick blender, but you can use your food processor if needed.
If the soup is too thick, add some more stock or water and thin it out. Add a good squeeze of lime juice too.
Taste and adjust for seasoning - you may need to add more salt.
You can serve the soup as is with lime wedges on the side, or scatter over a handful of crushed peanuts, some chopped coriander, chillies or a slug of chilli oil.