Friday, 3 December 2010
It's not even officially winter yet, and most of the UK has been blanketed in a ton of snow and suffering with sub zero temperatures, something which is a rarity in this country, especially this early in the year. In the UK, snow and cold are serious business!
It doesn't take much to bring the country to a standstill . . . roads close, airplanes are grounded, trains stop running . . . schools and shops close . . .
This is the perfect time to closet yourself indoors . . . next to the warm fire . . . and sup on hot bowls of soup. This delicious soup fits the bill perfectly. Gently spiced and warming, with just a hint of sweet honey, it has gone down a real treat!
*Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup*
A deliciously spicy soup. Heart warming.
50g of butter (a scant 1/4 cup)
1 TBS olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and diced
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 tsp ground cumin
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 heaped tsp of curry powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
700g of parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks (about a pound and half)
1 medium Bramley Apple peeled and cut into chunks (you can use 2 Granny Smith Apples peeled and cut into chunks)
2 TBS runny honey
1 1/2 litre of good chicken stock (6 cups)
Indian Spiced Croutes (see below)
coarsely chopped salted cashew nuts
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently until softened. Stir in the garlic, the parsnips and the apple. Add the spices and honey and stir to coat. Cover and allow to sweat over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer until the vegetables are very soft. Remove from the heat and blitze until smooth with an immersion blender (stick blender). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle out into heated bowls. Float a couple of Indian Spiced Croutes on top and add a scattering of chopped cashew nuts. Serve immediately.
*Indian Spiced Croutes*
Crunchy little toasts to float on top of your soup. I like to cut them into pretty shapes, but you can just cut them into squares or rectangles if you like.
4 slices of good hearty white bread
2 ounces softened butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp of ground coriander
1/4 tsp curry powder
a pinch of hot chili powder
Mash the softened butter and spices together until well mixed. Set aside.
Heat the grill and then toast the slices of bread under the heated grill until lightly toasted on both sides. Cut into shapes and then spread some of the spiced butter on top of each shape. Return to the grill and toast until the butter is sizzling and toasted. Remove from the grill and float on top of your soup.