Of course it was parsnips last time on Name This Food! and someone named Anonymous got it right. Parsnips are one of those foods that have had something of a renaissance in the last few years. It used to be you just roasted them - nowadays you mash them, steam them, shred them, coat them in polenta or honey or various herbs and then bake or roast them, all of which are wonderful methods, but I have to say - give me the old fashioned roasting any time. Whenever I do roast potatoes, if I have a couple of parsnips kicking about I'll peel and parboil them with the spuds and roast them in the same pan. I think that stems from my Nan - that's what she used to do for Sunday lunch.
Another thing that's had something of a rebirth with parsnips is the spicy parsnip soup, or parsnip and apple. This is a great winter warmer, and while I realise it's no longer technically winter, it still feels like it! So here goes. True comfort food.
Spicy Parsnip Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 cm cubes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
750ml boiling water
1 stock cube
2 teaspoons curry powder
100ml double cream
Salt and pepper
Dried chili pepper flakes or paprika to garnish
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onion in butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the parsnips, garlic and curry powder, and fry for a couple of minutes to release the flavours.
2. Boil the water in the kettle and mix with stock cube in a separate jug. Add to pan and stir well.
3. Simmer for 15 mins until parsnips are soft and easy to break with a wooden spoon.
4. Take off the heat and blend with hand mixer or food processor.
5. Stir in the cream and warm through.
6. Season to taste and garnish with the chili flakes or paprika.
Apple And Parsnip Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion peeled and chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large cooking apple, peeled and chopped
500ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon mixed, dried herbs
4 tablespoons single cream (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan
Cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft
Add the parsnip and apple
Add the stock and herbs
Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes
Add the milk
Process in a liquidiser
Return to the saucepan to reheat
Serve into bowls and add a swirl of cream if desired
Serve with crusty bread
So what's next on Name This Food!?