There’s always a long chat about Christmas leftovers, usually involving turkey curry. We don’t tend to have that problem, as whatever meat or poultry we cook at Christmas – whether it be on the day itself or on Boxing Day – tends to get devoured. But there’s often a problem with the veg. This year, after our Boxing Day food fest, we were left with enough parsnips and carrots to feed the neighbourhood. According to Mr Manning (who should be credited with valiantly taking on the last-minute shopping for fresh stuff) the deal for many, many vegetables was just “too good to resist”!
What to do with bucketloads of parsnips and carrots? We all know I’m not a very good cook, but even this domestic failure can manage soup surely? First up – the parsnips. After a bit of Google scouting, I settled on a curried parsnip soup. I didn’t really follow a recipe but took a few ideas and improvised a bit and hey presto!
Start with the parsnips, peeled and cored if they’re big, and some onion on a roasting tray. Sprinkle with some turmeric, curry powder, mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and roast until they’re soft and sweet. Let them cool, mix with some vegetable stock and seasoning, then blend. Yes, really. It’s that easy.
You end up with a thick, smooth soup brimming with the sweetness of the roasted parsnips, combined with the spicy curry flavour and a nice kick at the end. A perfect winter warmer I think, and even garnered some praise from a fellow food-loving work colleague when he smelled my warmed-up treat.
Next up, a lot of carrots! Carrot and coriander is what springs to mind, and I wanted to test whether fresh coriander would be vital. For this one, I fried onions with the peeled and chopped up carrots, then added vegetable stock, lightly-crushed coriander seeds, ground coriander, and plenty of seasoning. I then simmered for at least 45 minutes until the flavour of the coriander had permeated into the carrots.
Let it cool, then blend until it’s nice and thick and smooth. Not only is the colour particularly impressive, but the carrots seem to become even sweeter than usual set alongside the spicy coriander.
Ever the faithful taste-tester, Mr M declared both soups were pretty impressive (especially from his non-cooking wife). But for my personal taste, the parsnip was a winner as it wasn’t quite as sweet as the carrot. The bonus of both, in that post-Christmas guilt phase, is that they’re incredibly good for you. I’m never sure why people feel the need to splash cream into soups, they go plenty thick and creamy all by themselves.
With the last of the veg used up, it looks like that’s it for Christmas food blog posts. But fear not, there’s plenty more food ahead of us in 2015!