Vegetable soup. Warm soup. Spicy soup. Soup for dinner served with some homemade bread. A parsnip soup that’s so earthy, naturally sweet and comforting. It begs the question why it hasn’t shown up in my kitchen until now. What else have we been missing? It’s question like this that keeps me searching for the simple, delicious, and sometimes overlooked dishes or ingredients that tickle our palate, if not our imagination.
Kudos to Jamie Oliver, the writer of this recipe. Not only for his leadership in the food revolution in healthy eating, but for his deft hand in elevating a common root vegetable soup into something so divine and tantalizing. Jamie Oliver said: “I’ve given the humble parsnip soup a new lease of life with aromatic Asian flavours and added heat.” He did exactly that. My taste buds won’t easily forget the experience.
The recipe calls for six parsnips but does not specify the size or weight. I used three big ones or at least three pounds of parsnip. I don’t think you could ever go wrong putting in extra parsnip in the soup.
What makes this soup a standout is the use of spices, garam masala, in particular. I have a small bottle of this spice laying around for the longest time. Unused and underappreciated. It won’t be any longer going forward. The sweet pungency of the mix of cardamom, cinnamon and clove in garam masala is so seductive. I can’t resist sticking my nose to the bottle, smelling and inhaling its rich warm aroma.
I don’t have fresh red pepper. Red pepper was used as the focal point garnishing the parsnip soup posted on Jamie Oliver’s website. I substituted with red chili flakes. The fresh pepper would have spiced up the soup beyond measure. I would use the fresh kind next time around. Maybe as soon as next week.
|Served with crusty sprouted whole-wheat bread|