Tuesday, 25 February 2014


DH dug up the last of the parsnips yesterday so that I could make spicy parsnip soup.
I love slightly spicy parsnip soup, and we usually make an enormous amount and freeze portions to eat later.

In previous years we've had a bit of a parsnip fest, digging up all the parsnips in one go and then pigging out on parsnip soup, parsnip bread, parsnip crisps. 

DH doesn't eat vegetables (apart from potatoes),  but he will eat home grown parsnips.    It isn't just that he's grown them himself - he grows a wide array of vegetables for me, without eating them himself.  The thing about home grown parsnips is that they truly are different from anything you can buy.   Even if you buy from a farmers market where the farmer pulled the parsnip that morning,   it isn't the same.  Home grown parsnips really DO taste different.

As soon as a parsnip is wrenched from the ground, the sugars start converting to starch.  It only takes a few hours for this to happen.   Freshly dug parsnips are amazing because they are so sweet.      When we have roast parsnips, we delay picking the parsnips until just before we want to start cooking them.  We've had roast parsnips a few times lately,  and I cook extra because I also love to eat (home grown and therefore sweet) roast parsnips when they are cold. Yumm!

Anyway, we decided to make soup, and DH went and dug the parsnips.   We decided that he would dig up ALL the remaining parsnips and  I would to make a big vat of soup and freeze the extra.  I was also going to make some Parsnip Sage and Parmesan (Delia recipe) bread to go with it. Maybe even parsnip crisps.

There weren't that many parsnips!    We'd had them so often for roast dinners in the last couple of months that there were only just enough parsnips to make 4 large portions of soup.  So, we had soup for dinner, and I froze the rest.

Not even enough parsnips left to make the bread.    I made a completely different loaf, Irish Soda Bread, using some of the buttermilk from the recent butter making, and embellishing it by adding some grated Parmesan and some Parmesan pieces. I also crumbled some of my dried sage leaves into it,

When the bread had cooled slightly, but was still warm, I taste-tested it. I'd overdone it with the Parmesan.  I had another slice, just to make sure.

The soup was lovely. I didn't put the apple in, as the only apple I cold find was a mummified one from Christmas.       So, the soup was a little sweeter than perhaps it should be,   but it went really well with the parmesany soda bread.

DH finished the soda bread with some cheese later in the evening.

I feel I've redeemed myself after yesterday's KFC fail.

I used Delia's recipe from her Winter collection for the soup - a version here: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/european/english/curried-parsnip-and-apple-soup-with-parsnip-crisps.html

The bread I wanted to make, and have made before , it's delicious - is from her How To Cook series, and a copy is here: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/european/english/parsnip-parmesan-and-sage-bread.html

The bread I actually made was my mum's mum's recipe (although she used sour milk, and I use buttermilk). Margeuerite Patten has a very similar recipe in her Basic Basics Baking book, but I can't find an online link.  I just added some grated Parmesan, then some small cubes of Parmesan.

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