Parsnip apple and hazelnut soup
This lovely parsnip apple and hazelnut soup would have seemed very atypical to me growing up. That’s because I never even saw a parsnip before moving to the UK. When I first bit into this strange white carrot during a roast dinner organised by friends, I was struck by how nutty it tasted. I’ve loved them ever since.
The apple gives it a little twang that stops the whole thing from being too earthy. Sometimes I use more, sometimes less, I tend to use fallen apples so it really depends on what I get.
This parsnip, apple and hazelnut soup serves four for a light meal but don’t even think of eating it without bread. We had a lovely cheese loaf with it, which I just warmed in the oven for 10min before serving.
- 500g organic parsnips – you don’t have to use organic but that way you don’t have to peel them
- 250g apples
- 100g almonds
- A bag of 20g sage
- 1 onion
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5L vegetable stock
- Hazelnut oil (optional)
Lightly toast the hazelnuts in the oven in a large roasting tin until golden but not dark – circa 10min.
Chop the parsnips in even chunks. Peel the onion and cut it in quarters. Cut the head on garlic in half and remove the stalks from the sage.
Once the hazelnuts are ready, place them in the blender (keep a few for decorating) and add the oil to the roasting dish. Let the oil heat up in the oven for 5min, then remove the dish from the oven and throw in the sage while stirring. This should be enough to cook them without burning them.
Remove the leaves and pop them in your blender.
Now add the parsnips, apple, onion and garlic (face down) to the dish, stir well and roast gently (150 degrees) for 30min or until everything is soft.
Place the parsnip, onion and apple chunks in the blender and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of the head into the blender too. Pour in the stock and whizz away!
You may serve this parsnip, apple and hazelnut soup with some fried sage leaves, a crack of black pepper and a drizzle of hazelnut oil – if you’re feeling fancy.
You end up with a rich, thick and earthy but tangy soup with works wonders on cold autumnal days.
A word of warning though: my youngest point blank refused to eat it after the first mouthful… His brother lapped it all up, so don’t let a fussy child deter you.