By the time January comes, I’m always looking for new ways to cook parsnips.
I don’t grow my own parsnips. Slow growers, they are one of the first veg to be sown, late-winter/early spring, in good manured soil. They tend to taste sweeter after frost (so they can be left in the ground in winter to be harvested as required) so are said to be better eaten later in the season.
They are a good source of dietary fibre,Vitamin C, potassium and folic acid.
Roast parsnips are the stand-by : once roasted, I like to pour over melted herb butter and stir in a teaspoon of horseradish (particularly good if serving them with beef).
I also like Silvana de Soissons way of roasting them: Having sliced and parboiled them, roll in seasoned flour and grated Parmegiano before roasting.
But please try my “Soupe à la Reine”, based on an old Mary Berry recipe. It’s very economical, warming and delicious at this time of year.
Soupe à la Reine
1 tbsp oil (I’ve been using rapeseed oil lately)
500g parsnips, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp flour
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
2 pints good stock
S & p
Chives /croutons to garnish
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan, add the parsnips, onion and garlic and fry gently for 10 mins.
Stir in the flour and curry powder and cook for one minute, then add the stock and s & p. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 40 mins.
Pureé in a blender. Reheat and serve with some croutons or a swirl of cream and some chopped chives.