Parsnips and apples combo

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

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Perfect combos….for Christmas!

Students on the Step Up programme at Carrickfergus Cookery School, Carrick YMCA, had fun cooking up this lovely winter parsnip and apple soup last week. (Parsnips and apples are a perfect combo but you can also choose to add extra flavours which work well, like curry spice, fresh sage or even seasonal roasted chestnuts-the choice is yours…

Creamy parsnip and apple soup

Serves 4

25g butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, crushed

450g parsnip, peeled and chopped

1x large dessert apple, skin on, cored and chopped

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1.2 litres vegetable stock

70ml single cream

1. Melt the butter in a large pan, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add apples and parsnips and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Add coriander and stir for 30 seconds.

2. Pour in stock, season well and bring to the boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

3. Remove from heat, wait for it to cool, then blend it in the food processor until almost smooth (so as to keep a little texture).

4. Return soup to the pan, stir in the cream and reheat gently, but don’t boil. Serve straight away with a crusty loaf.

Cooks’ tips:

• Add a few chopped fresh sage leaves or try curry powder instead of ground coriander.

• Try adding 150g chopped chestnuts in with the parsnips and apples.

• Make parsnip crisps: Wash parsnips and peel. Take a potato peeler and shave thin layers of parsnip and place into a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss, making sure that all surfaces are lightly covered with oil. Place parsnip shavings onto a non-stick baking sheet in a single layer and put into a pre-heated oven (180C). Bake for about 10 minutes, checking and turning every few minutes. When light brown and crispy, take out of oven and blot on kitchen roll. Season with sea salt and eat while still hot or let them cool and store in an airtight container.