Parsnips make a lovely, velvety, smooth-textured soup. You can buy them all the year round but they taste best in the winter after a heavy frost. The spices add warmth and heat to this light low calorie recipe.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 250g (9oz) parsnips, trimmed, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
- 600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock or LighterLife Savoury Stock
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley or some snipped chives
- chopped red pepper, to garnish
- Put the onion, chilli, parsnips, honey and stock in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer very gently for 15–20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Pour the hot soup into a blender or food processor (you may have to do this in batches) and blend until thickened and smooth.
- Return the soup to the pan, then stir in the garam masala and season to taste with some freshly ground black pepper. Warm through gently over a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Ladle the hot soup into serving bowls and swirl in the yoghurt. Sprinkle with chives or parsley and chopped red pepper and serve immediately while it’s still really hot.
- If you don’t have a sweet tooth, simply reduce the amount of honey to ablespoon and add plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
- Try using a mixture of parsnips and carrots for a beautiful, richly coloured soup. Instead of garam masala, flavour it with ground nutmeg, cumin and turmeric, which will intensify the colour and enhance the spicy flavour.
- Alternatively, make a curried parsnip and apple soup. Just add an apple, which has been peeled, cored and diced, with the parsnip, and then flavour with curry powder for a spicy, sweet soup.
- Have fun experimenting with different toppings and garnishes. Why not try the following: Add a teaspoon of spicy salsa, or sprinkle with your favourite chopped herbs. Alternatively, swirl in a teaspoon of reduced-calorie pesto or sprinkle with a little grated cheese, such as Parmesan, Gruyère or half-fat Cheddar.