Hi guys, today’s post is an exciting one for two reasons. 1) This is the first Strictly Seasonal recipe! If you’re unaware of what I’m talking about, you can read about the idea behind this series here. 2) This is my first recipe in a month. Yes, it’s been a month. My last recipe post was my (slightly failed) Christmas cookies on December 11th. My last proper recipe post, you know, one that was actually presentable…was December 2nd. I don’t know how this happened. Actually, I do; I was busy cooking for an ebook, but whatever. That’s still far too long. Today’s comeback recipe is for a smoked parsnip and caramelised carrot soup and it’s actually somewhat inspired by the aforementioned ebook.
It’s been so long that I looked at my recipe plugin and froze for a minute because I’d forgotten how to use it. I don’t know how I let myself get to this point. I’m really sorry if this post turns out to be a mess.
I have a recipe in the ebook for caramelised squash on toast and I’m a little bit obsessed with it. But there’s a slight issue with that, I’m the only one who likes squash. No one else I cook for on a regular basis likes one of my favourite foods. I know, I feel cheated too. So, not wanting to be defeated, I tried to cook something else the same way as I make the squash and hoped it turned out well.
If you read my post about what’s in season in winter, you’ll know that I was planning on using parsnips today and I didn’t want to simply roast them. The caramelised carrot alone would be too sweet as a soup base, so I decided to add a smokey flavour to the parsnips. The smoked parsnips and sweet carrots complement each other perfectly to make a lovely balanced soup.
I know the caramelised carrot probably sounds like a lot of effort but it’s actually really simple. It requires very little attention once everything is in the pan, then you can leave it to simmer until it’s time to blend.
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free and vegan.
Smoked Parsnip and Caramelised Carrot Soup
For the carrots
- 2 medium carrots chopped into small chunks
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
For the parsnips
- 3 medium to large parsnips roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chilli powder optional
- Black pepper to taste
- Pinch of salt
- Up to 4 cups vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 190c then spread the oil evenly across a baking tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes to warm up.
Meanwhile, add the carrots and onion to a large saucepan/ stock pot with a small amount of water, enough to cover the base of the pan, and cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes.
Add the parsnips to the baking tray and sprinkle the smoked paprika, chilli powder (if using), salt and pepper evenly over them. Place in the centre of the oven for approximately 25 minutes until cooked but not golden.
Then add the maple syrup and apple cider vinegar to the carrot and onions, stir to fully combine then reduce the heat, cover the pan and leave on a low simmer for 15 minutes. After that, the carrots should ‘mash’ easily with a fork when touches and mixture should have a jammy texture. When this stage is reached, remove from the heat and set aside until the parsnips are cooked.
When the parsnips are ready, remove from oven and add them to the carrot pan along with two cups of vegetable stock.
Blend with a hand blender. At this stage, it will have a paste-like texture. Add the remaining stock half a cup at a time, continuing to blend until you reach your desired consistency. I ended up using just over 3 cups for mine.
Place the pan back on a low heat and warm through for a few minutes before serving.
Serve and enjoy!
How are you liking Strictly Seasonal so far? Do you like the sound of the sweet and smokey combination here? What are your favourite winter soups?
Until next time,
You can find out which fruits and vegetables are in season right now here and catch up with strictly seasonal here.
For the squash on toast recipe, you can purchase my ebook here.