Carrot, Celery and Parsnip Soup Recipe
Soup is a foodstuff which ticks so many positive boxes in a number of different ways. First and foremost, soup of most types is incredibly easy to make and does not require any level of specialist cooking knowledge or ability. Secondly, a properly made soup is delicious. Thirdly, soup is a fabulous way of introducing extra nutrition in to our diets where we may not necessarily like being faced with a plate of vegetables at meal times. It was when I heard on the BBC News a few days ago that some experts are now advocating we should eat seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day instead of the previously prescribed five that I decided to get my soup inventing head on and see what I could come up with. This carrot, celery and parsnip soup is result number one, with hopefully many more ideas to follow in due course.
Do note that I have made this soup slightly spicy. If you want an extra bit of heat, you can increase the quantities as desired but you should of course be careful not to go too far and to consider the tastes of your family/guests as well as yourself. Alternatively, you can eliminate the cumin and ginger altogether and simply season with salt and pepper.
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- 1 pound (gross weight) carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (plus two extra, medium sized carrots for grating)
- 1 pound (gross weight) parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 pound (gross weight) starchy/floury potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 celery sticks, washed trimmed and chopped
- 1 apple, cored and roughly chopped (no need to peel)
- 1 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander/cilantro (plus extra to garnish)
- Salt and black pepper
It goes without saying that you can't make a decent quantity of soup in the average kitchen pot or saucepan. The good news about quality soup pots like this one is that they can last for many years when cared for properly, making hundreds of batches of delicious soups. They also double perfectly as stock pots.
- Put the chopped carrots, parsnips and potatoes in to a large soup pot. Measure in 3 pints (UK) or 3 and 3/4 pints (US) of cold water. Put the pot on to a high heat until the water starts to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about twenty minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the celery and apple to the soup, stir well, cover and leave to partly cool for about half an hour. This is simply because it is not a great idea to blend extra hot soups.
- Blend the soup in your blender or liquidiser (you may need to do this in two stages) and return to the pot.
- Lightly toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan before grinding in a pestle and mortar. Add to the soup with the grated ginger. Peel the two remaining carrots and grate coarsely in to the soup. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put the soup back on to the heat until it again reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally and well.
- Stir the coriander/cilantro in to the soup and simmer for a further couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
- Ladle the soup in to serving bowls and garnish with a little extra fresh herb.