Monday, 10 October 2011

The Battle of the Parsnip Soups

Kitchen Play List: Evanescence ~ My Last Breath
                                     The Rolling Stones ~ Get Off of My Cloud
                                     Antonio Vivaldi ~ The Hunt, Allegro
                                     Live ~ I Alone
                                     Thunder ~ Castles in the Sand
                                     Alannah Myles ~ Black Velvet
                                     Alma Cogan & Les Howard ~ Isn't Life Wonderful?

Parsnip Soup is an essential autumnal soup in our house. We both love the pale white lovely vegetable in all it many forms but soup is probably my favourite...however My Love would argue that roasted is the best way! lol. I make varying different parsnip soups of my own creation but I do like to test out other peoples versions. So armed with my bargain bags of parsnips I set about trying out two new recipes. The first one is a Curried Parsnip Soup that I found online posted on a site with no creator name so the credit can go to that ever popular person known as Anon! Urgh! The second, Hot & Spicy Parsnip Soup, I found on and as I am a huge Garam Masala fan I knew I had to test it as soon as possible.

On the left Contender A ~ Curried Parsnip Soup...On the right Contender B ~ Hot & Spicy Parsnip Soup
Both soups were very simple to make. A simple list of ingredients with simple instructions except the author of the contender A advised letting the veggies simmer for 50 minutes until cooked...?..mine were cooked in 15 tops! Both soups blitzed easily and both were creamy and smooth...both were very thick so I added more hot water to them both and the results were still a rich and creamy soup. So, so far they were both neck and neck and it looked great too! Taste testing seemed to be the only way to make the final call. So My Love, my sister and I sat down to take one for the team and test these pesky soups! lol

Contender A ~ A very creamy texture and was very pleasant to eat. The curry powder (I used medium madras), ground coriander and cumin blend together to give a very full spiced flavour. It wasn't too hot and it was a consistent depth of flavour. The parsnip combined with carrots didn't leave you with an overwhelming sweetness to the soup which I had feared it might. A very good spiced parsnip soup. All three of us agreed heartly. 

Contender B ~ Probably slightly silkier than A and the thickness from 1 tbsp of wholemeal flour was obvious..not in a negative way. The only vegetable in this soup was the parsnip and the spices were garam masala and cayenne. Also this soup had lemon zest and juice which I only added half the amount suggested. The flavour was good, a mellow spiciness from the garam masala and then shortly afterwards you are hit with the cayenne hotness. But the overwhelming flavour is...sweetness. Not in a bad way, at all. But it lacked the savouriness that a spicy parsnip soup should have. A great soup...just a little different. 

The winner ~ Contender A Curried Parsnip Soup. The spice levels were just right and the savouriness was perfect. The sweetness of Contender B didn't really impress My Love and my sister. 

Update: 11.10.11 Had the Hot & Spicy Soup for lunch today..and wow what a change. The sweetness has been replaced with a POW of heat. It was delicious and well worth being able to feel my lips for a short while. So I highly recommend you save some and try it a couple of days later. It's almost like a whole new soup! lol ~R~ 

Let me know if you try them out and what your thoughts are? 

Curried Parsnip Soup
(Recipe by Anon)

1 onion, chopped
3 large parsnips, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 tbsp veggie oil
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 pints of veggie stock
3/4 pint of just boiled water for watering down ~ opt

In a large saucepan heat the oil and saute the onion for 5 minutes. Add the parsnips and carrots and saute for another 5 minutes until they soften. Add the spices and seasonings and stir well to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until the veggies are tender. Approx 15 minutes. 

Blitz with a hand held blender or in a blender until smooth. If the texture is too thick for you then water down with freshly boiled water. Re-season and serve. 

Enjoy! ~R~

Hot & Spicy Parsnip Soup
(Recipe found on

1 med onion, chopped
2 large parsnips, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 rounded tbsp wholemeal flour
4 cups of veggie stock
grated zest of 1 lemon (I used half..~R~)
juice of 1 lemon (I used half..~R~)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large pan, steam saute the onions, garlic, parsnip until softened. Stirring frequently. 

Add spices and stir well and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir very well to coat for 30 seconds then immediately add the stock, lemon juice and zest. Taste to establish the sourness. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for  15-20 minutes or until the veggies are cooked. 

Blitz the soup with a hand held blender or in a blender until its smooth. Using boiled water to water down to a consistency that you prefer. Re-season to taste and serve.