This sounds like SUCH a bore, right? WRONG.
It’s delicious. I promise you that. It’s delicious if you like parsnips (which my partner doesn’t, and I kind of feel bad for making him eat it but that’s okay – he will have to forgive me one day)
This is a really nice but cheap (SO CHEAP) option to have for a mid-week meal. If you like a little more food in front of you for dinner, add something else to the list of stuff you’re eating for dinner tonight, fatty. (No disrespect, I love fatties)
However, this is a very filling soup, trust me! Made all the more so by the addition garlic bread on the side (mmmmmmmm garlic) and cheese on top (everything is improved with cheese. Everything.)
The ingredients are really simple. They are as follows:
(To make enough soup for 2)
6-7 carrots, peeled obviously.
1-2 parsnips, washed and/or peeled.
4 shallots or 1 onion of a large-ish size
oil (probably should use olive oil cause it’s healthier than regular ol’ vegetable oil)
a couple of cloves of garlic
about 100ml of white wine (whatever is on hand) or just water if you’re a square.
4 Oxo cubes of chicken stock (or vegetable stock for you veggies out there!) (or use any other kind of stock you want… I think there are different kinds like Knorr in North America)
salt, pepper, nutmeg, ground ginger (ginger is optional)
1. What I do is I chop the carrots, parsnip, and one of the shallots into good sized pieces for roasting. If you’re using a big onion, just put half in to roast, or if you’re using two small onions, put one small onion in to roast.) I throw those on a baking sheet, toss on some oil, and get in there with my hands to make sure everything is covered. Then I wash my hands so I don’t leave a disgusting (albeit slightly sensual) mess in my wake. I shake some salt, pepper, and some nutmeg on the lubed up veggies and put those in the oven at about 190° F (that’s 375° C for you North Americans) for about 35 minutes, or until they’re soft when poked with a fork. They should look like this:
2. Right before these come out of the oven, I like to start sautéing the rest of the shallots (finely chopped) and a couple of cloves of garlic (finely chopped) in some oil on medium heat in the big pot I’ll eventually have the soup in. Once these have some nice colour to them, I pour on the wine and let it reduce for a few minutes.
3. MEANWHILE I like to break up my chicken stock cubes (of course veggie stock is cool too) into a measuring cup and I boil some water in the kettle. Then I fill the measuring cup with boiling water and stir so it’s all dissolved and stock-y!
4. Now, this part does require a bit of a disclaimer. You’re going to want to blend some stuff now – PLEASE DO SO CAREFULLY. Don’t put the lid on too tight (or what I do is keep the centre bit of the top off, but hold it so that it’s almost on – the steam escapes but the soup splashes don’t get on my clothes.)
Right, don’t turn the blender on yet, but do put the roasted veggies in the blender, then pop your sautéed shallots/onion/ garlic in the blender, then put your stock in the blender. Then put the lid on, but hold the centre bit of the lid so it’s just floating above it slightly. Don’t be a hero – this process takes kind of a while because you want to do it in really short bursts. I turn the pulse button on in REALLY short bursts – like one second at a time. This way, things get blended but hot soup doesn’t go flying in all directions, burning everything in sight. If you feel more comfortable letting everything cool to room temperature before blending, do feel free to do so! I just wanted to eat soon. OR alternatively, if you just use a potato masher with all that stuff in a big pot, that’s totally fine too, you’ll just have a chunky soup!
5. Once blended to your liking, GENTLY pour that into the pot you sautéed the onions/ garlic in. You’ll probably want to add water as well, I always do as it’s really thick just out of the blender! Heat up the mixture again on medium heat. I add a little bit (like 1/8th of a teaspoon) of ground ginger into the soup at this point. It brings out the flavour a little bit more, but if they idea makes you squeamish, leave it out! Let this simmer away while you cut up some bread, or grate some cheese, or look at a magazine, or do a little dance in your kitchen in nothing but your undies.
6. When it looks right, it probably is. Taste it (I taste all the way through the process, really) and add salt, pepper, etc, as needed.
SERVE IT UP AND EAT IT DOWN.
It sounds like a lot of steps, but soup is SO easy. And SO cheap. It’s slightly time consuming to roast the veggies, but it’s so worth it. As well, there are a thousand combinations you could use. You could roast some cauliflower and make soup out of that! If you like sweet potatoes, you could by all means make soup from that! Anything you can imagine, basically, you can make into a soup of some sort. I mean, people put ham in soup for goodness sake. (The thought of that makes me feel weird about humanity.) You don’t have to roast the veggies in the oven, but I like the flavours that brings out. If you do anything with white potatoes though (and they are delightful in soups) just boil those bad boys, rather than roasting. It turns out better in the end.
Anyways, enjoy! And if you have any questions – just ask!